TellThemWhatYouThink doesn't work very well anymore

This site was set up in 2008, to help people find Government consultations more easily, and to show that it could be done: quickly and easily. The site has never been funded as such, and has relied on volunteers for maintenance and support. It hasn't had much maintenance recently and this shows: some consultations can't be found and some functions don't work as they should. We are currently seeking funding for a new version of TellThemWhatYouThink.

In the meantime, you can search a limited number of departments for open consultations at the Directgov Consultation Finder.

Frequently Asked Questions


What's this all about, then? indexes the details of government consultations from the various websites upon which they're published and stores the information centrally, allowing them all to be searched and browsed in one place.

The site started because of a desire to be informed of any consultation that is relevant to a certain issue; for example, data sharing. Any department could publish a consultation calling for opinions about data sharing, but the only way to find out about them before this site began was to check each department's individual website. With over 20 sites to check, this was a very time consuming activity!

This service is new, and still under development. If you find any bugs, need help, or have any suggestions for ways the site could be improved, please let me know!

What are government consultations?

Government consultations are documents published by the government which ask for people or groups to tell them what they think about a particular topic. The government publishes consultations all the time, and (hopefully) uses people's responses to decide what policies it should adopt.

You can read more about government consultations here. If you're considering responding to a consultation, you may also want to read this excellent page of tips.

Which government departments are supported?

You can view the list of supported departments on the Browse or Advanced Search pages. If the department you're looking for isn't there, it either means it can't be added or that we haven't heard of it. If it's the latter, do get in touch and let us know!

Are there any departments you can't add?


There are several departments we can't support, usually because of the way their consultations are published:

We'd dearly love to add them, but they'll have to change their ways first!

Why do some consultations have an "unknown" close date?

All consultations do have a closing date, but it is not always published on the website where the consultation is made available. In these cases, our software has a go at figuring the date out, but it can't always do it. Most consultations last for 12 weeks, but sometimes they are shorter; for example, when the government has to consult about the implementation of some regulation which must be in place by a certain date. In these cases, consultations can run for as little as a month.

For this reason, confusing though it may be, we think it's better to say "unknown" than to guess! If you're interested in responding to a consultation, make sure you check its details on its original website.