Tell us how

As promised in the Open Public Services White Paper, Francis Maude has launched the Tell Us How website for public sector workers to tell their bosses how services can be improved. One has to register on the site and the home page of the site is the registration page, why isn’t actually very inviting, but the thought’s there. However if one tries to use your personal email address you are rejected with “To register for this site, you must use your Departmental email address”, which gives the impression that like much of central government it appears to be focused around the civil service. However, the Cabinet Office launch page welcomes “All public sector workers, from nurses, to those working in job centres, local Government, or vital back office functions”, so not quite sure… – It also then appeared to reject my valid local government email address, but it hadn’t as I soon found a ‘welcome’ email with my password in my work inbox.

A bit of stray code also appears on the site more than a fortnight after it went live “<!–[endif]–><!–[if !ppt]–><!–[endif]–>” above the conditions one has to agree to when signing on –

“We welcome all your suggestions on this site, but ask you to please bear in mind our guidelines when submitting ideas and commenting.

Guidelines

Ideas will remain on the site as long as they:

• are clearly an attempt to present a genuine idea to reduce burden in the public sector

•• respect other people. Comments should not be malicious or offensive in nature, and should not constitute or include a personal attack on a person’s character

• don’t incite hatred on the basis of race, religion, gender, nationality or sexuality or other personal characteristic

•• don’t include swearing, hate-speech or obscenity

•• don’t reveal personal details, such as private addresses, phone numbers, email addresses or other online contact details

••don’t break the law – this includes libel, condoning illegal activity, and breaking copyright

••are reasonably concise, and don’t constitute spamming of the site

••don’t impersonate or falsely claim to represent a person or organisation

••are in English – unfortunately, we do not currently have the resource to moderate comments in other languages

••are on-topic. Please don’t post messages that are unrelated to this site

If you are aged 16 or under, please get your parent/guardian’s permission before submitting an idea or commenting. Users without this consent are not allowed to participate or provide us with personal information.

The site moderators reserve the right to remove any ideas or comments that do not abide by these guidelines.”

I liked the one about being aged under 16. I wonder how many children are employed in government service? Is this a new cost saving scheme?

Good try guys and gals – anyone test it on the public sector first?

As of 9 November 2011 the site claims that there have been 775 registrations and 189 ideas, so get them coming in and start voting! However it wouldn’t appear to be something developed in the skunkworks, more a case of employing a known US tool, in this case Spigit, already used by some government entities in the US, along with the DWP in the UK.

I watch with interest…

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