Feeds

Joe Public cools to eGov projects

'Failure to engage citizens'

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

Investment in e-government doesn't seem to have had the desired effect, if a new MORI poll is to be believed. Although the £2.5bn invested in improving access to information and services has undoubtedly transformed the way some local authorities do business, overall satisfaction with local authorities was found to have dropped 10 per cent over the last three years.

Performance management outfit Perspective Solutions, says that a focus on technology and delivery of services has come at the expense of usability.

"E-government is failing to engage UK citizens because of a lack of internet access as well as systems that are often unusable and overly complex, as anyone who has tried to file tax returns online via the Inland Revenue or looked for information on a local government website can testify," says Phil Reed, CEO of Perspective Solutions.

He argues that e-government initiatives are failing to meet their two main objectives: reducing the cost of local services and making the services more accessible to local citizens. "Technology has to be seen as a tool for achieving better public sector services, not an end result in itself. Otherwise, e-Government can never succeed," Reed concludes.

Reed's criticisms seem a little harsh, especially given the good work than some councils are doing: making it possible for people to pay council tax online, or setting up webcams so people can check for queues at the local dump before setting out with a load of old furniture, for example. But this kind of progress is not universal.

We assume Perspective Solutions has just the piece of software to sort out those councils who are less on the ball. It'd be astonishing if they didn't, really. ®

Related stories

Over-compliance is the new compliance, says former SEC Chairman
Local authorities offered outsourcing benchmarks
Microsoft encourages app-swapping councils

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

More from The Register

next story
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.