WRITTEN ON April 16th, 2009 BY William Heath AND STORED IN What do we want?, Wibbipedia/MindtheGap

Banish frustration and pointless griping about public services. We can all stop shouting at the radio. From today there’s an easy way to share the customer view of public services, and suggestions about how they might be better.

Publicexperience.com seeks raw, unvarnished feedback from the point where the person in the street meets Whitehall. If there’s a gap between what that feels like and what it should feel like, just say “wouldn’t it be better if….”

Publicexperience is created by a team led by Sam Smith (of Commentonthis and DirectionlessGov) and backed by the Ministry of Justice. It has the ear, to put it no strongly than that, of officials in Treasury and the Better Regulation Task Force. Their interest is in cutting pointless red ape and saving money (for which there is now, to put it mildly, some urgency).

Of course there are already any number of usual rowdy channels for political discourse, digs at opponents, foul language and rehearsing entrenched partisan views. That’s not what PublicExperience is about. PublicExperience is basic ethnography: the dispassionate raw description by the person who has just encountered the workings of the Whitehall tribe. It recognises no opponents. It’s merely futher evidence that raw, unvarnished and constructive feedback is coming.

It’s an idea we originally kicked around five years ago under the name UKFeedback or “the Wibbipedia” on Idealgovernment and at the Young Foundation. That’s where we learned that PatientOpinion was already starting to do it. Health is trickier. Patient Opinion was doing it very well, and it was emerging that people largely wanted to use it to say “thank you” to their care providers. Health feedback is still better directed to PatientOpinion. If you want your street fixed then FixmyStreet is smarter at directing the right issue to the right local authority. There’s a lovely Fixmysite idea from the Rewired State event for a neat way to report web site failings. Horses for courses.

But if you’re on the receiving end of the workings of Whitehall and you’re not apathetic, if you care about what happened and especially if you encountered pointless red tape or wasted time or money use Publicexperience.com. It could’t be easier. The right people will be listening. If we use it constructively, they’ll continue to listen. Let’s see where that takes us.

2 Responses to “Had a public service? Do you care? Tell publicexperience.com!”

David Moss wrote on April 20th, 2009 5:38 pm :

Good news!

CRB checks the criminal background of 3.5 million people every year and in a move to make this process quicker and more efficient, it has launched its new system – e-Bulk [hooray]. Whilst your local martial arts school or swimming club may request the odd CRB check for a coach or equivalent position [chuckle], large public sector organisations can make thousands of requests every year and create a tremendous burden on the CRB [oh dear, poor things].

There’s more good news, if you can take it, at e-Bulk: taking the criminal out of the public sector electronically.

david osimo wrote on April 23rd, 2009 9:10 am :

WIBBI creating standard shared format for feedback on public services, which could be easily shared and managed across websites? see http://egov20.wordpress.com/2008/06/05/encouraging-signs-from-italy-as-well/