Posts Tagged ‘government website’


May 28, 2013

What do we think about the new! improved! all-singing, all-dancing! government website,

I only ask because, of course, all the government’s tax consultations have been moved onto the new site, and because of the suggestion – which also became a recommendation by the House of Lords Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee – that there should be a single government website listing ALL consultations in the order of the date of closure.

Because – as I have previously mentioned – if you go here, to the consultation page, you have to filter first to get “consultations” from the welter of other “publications”, and then you have to filter again by department (not subject) to get HMRC and HMT consultations, and even then there’s no way of filtering out tax consultations from other Treasury consultations.

However this gives you a list of (today, at least) 19 HMRC consultations and 89 HMT consultations – but of the HMRC 19 there are only four open consultations, as against 10 “closed consultations” and four “consultation outcomes”, and HMT has 5 open consultations, 45 “consultation outcomes” and 39 “closed consultations”.  Wouldn’t it be great if you could just filter by “open consultations” and THEN by Department and get to the nine you were actually interested in?

I had assumed the functionality wasn’t there on the website and that, in response to the House of Lords Committee’s recommendations, they’d be working on it when and if resources allowed.

And then I came across this page, on Getting Involved, where there is a running tally of open consultations telling me there are, currently, 55 open consultations across the government, or at least across government departments and agencies that have moved their web presence over to the site.

So the functionality to identify open consultations IS there somewhere, but isn’t being used in a way that would actually be useful to the users of the site?  You’d almost think it was deliberate…