Feeds

Gov.uk fails to communicate with e-citizens

Sites need 'immediate attention'

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Remote control for virtualized desktops

The Government's big idea to deliver its services digitally has once again taken a thumping after a report found that many of the Government's Web sites are muddled and confusing.

The problem is so bad that six in ten of the Government's 31 "flagship" sites are in need of "immediate attention in one area or another".

And despite the Government's keenness to improve dialogue with voters, it appears that some departments are reluctant for citizens to get in touch, while others can't be bothered to string together a half-decent reply to a simple enquiry.

A report assessing the usability of Government sites from Web development agency Interactive Bureau (IAB), London, discovered, for example, that the Deputy Prime Minister's department failed to provide a general email enquiry point on its site.

While departments such as The Inland Revenue, Customs & Excise, and Immigration & Nationality Directorate, refused to answer a simple enquiry because they demanded "personal details and/or case numbers to be provided in order to generate a response".

Said report author Adrian Porter: "This seems to represent a backward step. While we appreciate the resource implications the advent of email must have had on the Government, surely this is a significant area where the Government can connect with the people, and the people can feel that the Government is listening to them."

Highlighting the (lack of) communication problem that afflicts Government departments, Porter said: "We sent an email to the Foreign Office from its Web site, asking for information, and they replied with an email containing nothing more than a link to their Web site Home Page. We found this amusing, but it was hardly courteous."

Last year, research from IAB concluded that the UK Government's Web sites are a shambles and in urgent need of an overhaul. It found that the Prime Minister's own site was so bad it was described as a "mess".

IAB has recently published a list of the best - and worst - of the UK's top corporate Web sites concluding that, despite some improvements, too many sites "still do not get it" with companies showing "little ambition to get it right".

The Second Annual Report Into Key Government Web Sites is available from
iablondon.com. ®

Related Stories

UK corporate Web sites show 'little ambition'
UK Govt slammed for duff Web sites

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
BIG FAT Lies: Porky Pies about obesity
What really shortens lives? Reading this sort of crap in the papers
Be real, Apple: In-app goodie grab games AREN'T FREE – EU
Cupertino stands down after Euro legal threats
Assange™ slumps back on Ecuador's sofa after detention appeal binned
Swedish court rules there's 'great risk' WikiLeaker will dodge prosecution
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
The Heartbleed Bug: how to protect your business with Symantec
What happens when the next Heartbleed (or worse) comes along, and what can you do to weather another chapter in an all-too-familiar string of debilitating attacks?