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Electronic Government: Public Participation

Volume 472: debated on Tuesday 4 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform whether a national database of e-consultations across Government has been established. (189900)

The Business Link website provides details of, and links to, consultations of particular interest to small businesses; Directgov provides information about, and links to, consultations of broad interest to citizens; and www.info41ocal.gov.uk provides information about, and links to, consultations of particular interest to local authorities, although registered users represent all sectors. Departmental websites also routinely list all ongoing consultations.

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what assessment he has made of the operation of e-consultation across Government to date; and if he will make a statement. (189901)

Online consultation is one channel through which the Government consult during policy development. The Government have recently carried out a review of Government consultation policy, asking those who regularly participate in Government consultation exercises how consultation could be improved. One message from this review is that the Government should design consultation exercises to be accessible, which means making better use of the full range of channels, including electronic channels.

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what funding his Department provides for e-consultations across Government. (189927)

Consultation exercises, electronic or otherwise, are usually financed from the budget line for the policy area rather than from any central resource within Departments or across Government.