Government expected to scrap e-petitions site
The Government looks set to cut the e-petitions website, despite a web review calling for more services to be moved online.
The e-petitions site was shut down during the election, and hasn’t been reopened.
A note on the site reads: “The overall future of all HMG digital comms and engagement is bound into the Martha Lane Fox review, which will be announced imminently. The future of e-petitions will be part of that review.”
That review has been revealed. It doesn’t specifically mention the e-petitions site, although Lane Fox calls for more Government services to be moved online.
A spokesman for the Cabinet Office told PC Pro that if the e-petitions site was removed, there would be other ways for citizens to contact the Government via the web. “We’re looking at all aspects of online services,” he said.
The e-petitions site could simply be moved from the Number 10 website to DirectGov, but reports in The Guardian suggest the Government is hoping to kill off the service completely.
Noting a petition last year that called for Gordon Brown to step down as PM, the newspaper’s Whitehall source said: “[Cameron’s communications chief] Andy Coulson does not want to see a repeat of that.”
While some of the submitted petitions were trivial or concerning issues not entirely under the Government’s remit – including one to pressure Microsoft to drop its prices – others were serious enough to draw a response.
The coalition Government did try a pair of feedback sites regarding spending and which laws should be repealed, but they were quickly shut down.