Feeds

Brits unimpressed by e-Gov

Cost billions, but totally invisible

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Billions of pounds have been invested, but no one has noticed. That is the stark conclusion drawn from a recent survey of British public awareness of e-Government. It found that 73 per cent of the population was oblivious to any change in government services as a result of the huge investment.

The survey, conducted by Transversal, an eservice software provider, also found that by and large, people prefer to phone their local council, rather than emailing or checking on the Web. Although almost 60 per cent of those questioned said the phone was their preferred communication medium, 88 percent said that if the council website could respond quickly and accurately, they would far rather deal with the government online.

Transversal argues that one clear mistake local authorities make, is putting up static FAQ pages. These are not flexible enough, nor do they give the authorities any insight into what people actually want, and what their concerns are. This in turn, increases reliance on government call centres, widely criticised for being slow and unresponsive, Transversal says.

Obviously, Transversal has a vested interest in saying all this. Unsurprisingly, it supplies the kind of software it thinks can fix the problems highlighted.

But the survey is interesting anyway: although it makes sense to make information available online, the fact that most people still prefer to phone their local councils with questions is telling.

When you have questions you want answered, the bald, official response doesn't always give you all the information you are after, a phenomenon we are certainly familiar with here at Vulture Central. Being able to interrogate a person is distinctly more satisfying than reading a page full of FAQs, after all.

Gerard Buckley, CEO of Transversal, goes on to say that if the government is really serious about e-Government, it must go back to the fundamentals: making sure the public has easy access to information, and that they can ask questions and get answers quickly, online.

"While significant public funds have been ploughed in to content management and CRM systems, there are few public sector websites that allow us to ask a question and receive an intelligent answer in return. The public clearly hasn't noticed any improvement in public sector websites," he said. ®

Related stories

BT wins Suffolk e-gov contract
UK e-gov 'needs shaking up'
People want services with IQ, says IB

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Big Content goes after Kim Dotcom
Six studios sling sueballs at dead download destination
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
Singapore decides 'three strikes' laws are too intrusive
When even a prurient island nation thinks an idea is dodgy it has problems
Banks slap Olympus with £160 MEEELLION lawsuit
Scandal hit camera maker just can't shake off its past
France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours
«Email? Mais non ... il est plus tard que six heures du soir!»
Reprieve for Weev: Court disowns AT&T hacker's conviction
Appeals court strikes down landmark sentence
US taxman blows Win XP deadline, must now spend millions on custom support
Gov't IT likened to 'a Model T with a lot of things on top of it'
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.