Had a public service? Do you care? Tell!

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: is a pilot project hosted by mySociety, conceived by some mySociety friends, funded by the Ministry of Justice, which 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….”

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 tape 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 originally kicked around five years ago under the name UKFeedback or “the Wibbipedia” on Idealgovernment and at the Young Foundation, and when PatientOpinion was 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 It could’t be easier. The right people will be listening. If we use it constructively, they’ll continue to listen. Share your experiences, and we’ll see where that takes us.