Press release

Government welcomes proposals for digital public services

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Public services should be delivered online or by other digital means, the government has announced in response to a report by Martha Lane Fox.

22 November 2010

Public services should be delivered online or by other digital means, the government has announced in response to a report by UK Digital Champion Martha Lane Fox.

Both the report and the government’s response have called for a channel shift that will increasingly see public services provided digitally ‘by default’.

The report recommended a radical improvement to government internet services to provide higher quality and a more convenient 24/7 service to users - a move which could also save billions.

Other recommendations include:

  • Making Directgov the ‘customer champion with teeth’ to drive up the quality of government’s online services
  • Simplifying the user experience by making all of government’s transactional services available through Directgov
  • Ensuring online government information and services are available wherever people are on the web by opening up applications and services to other organisations
  • Asking  Directgov and Business Link to create a plan of what would be involved to converge the sites into a single domain

Responding to the report, Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude said:

We will use digital technology to drive better services and lower costs. At present we inherited contracts that effectively limit the number of people who can use some online services. And for most benefits it is simply not possible to apply online. This is inconvenient, expensive, wasteful and ridiculous and it can not continue.

“The shift towards online services also has the power to transform the relationship between government and individuals. As Martha Lane Fox’s insightful report shows, quality online services can be the default solution for people needing government services.