Discussing and responding to post/topic approvals

I’m not sure if this is the right topic to add to, but I wasn’t sure where else to put it.

Our forum has a feature request category where all topics are queued for review. (The majority are rejected because either the feature is already implemented or there is already an existing request for the same thing.)

Our workflow is currently this:
When a request is queued, if moderators want to discuss it, we start a conversation on a separate topic in a moderator-only category. If we reject the request, we then copy the text of the request to a PM that goes to the requester and all the mods, along with an explanation of why the request was rejected.

Repeating @mark78’s request that was never responded to, we would like a way to discuss the pending topic right there in the review queue. As it currently stands, it’s very difficult to find the matching discussion if we want to look back at it later.

Second, is there a better workflow for rejecting requests? We want:

  • the text of the original request returned to the requester (sometimes they revise and resubmit)
  • all moderators to be included in the conversation

Is it currently possible to see read state so you know which moderators have, or have not, seen the items in queue?