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Electronic Government: Public Consultation

Volume 485: debated on Wednesday 10 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will consider the merits of bringing forward procedures to allow people to participate in online conversations on Government consultations that are listed on the Direct.gov website. (241534)

The Directgov website contains links to individual departmental consultation websites

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Governmentcitizensandrights/UKgovernment/PublicConsultations/DG_170463

Details of the latest public consultations are also provided. Citizens can also find out about consultations in their area where searching by postcode, street and town or local authority will take them direct to the consultations page on the relevant local authority website. An enhanced consultations index is planned for delivery by mid-2009.

At present, all consultations are hosted by individual departments and it is for those Departments to determine how the public are engaged in that consultation. Directgov has agreed to host cross-government consultations in the future and we are working with Cabinet Office on how best to do this.

Forum functionality could be used to enable people to participate in online conversations on Government consultations. Directgov has future plans to add forum functionality to our web platform. We will consider the merits of bringing forward the implementation of this, although it will be for individual Departments to agree as to how this will be used with their own consultations.