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The advantages of online advice

\ Gareth Morgan Managing Director, Ferret Information Systems. wrote this article in 1997.\


The Government expects that within ten years many public information systems which are currently paper based will become electronic, with citizens accessing information through public kiosks or 'set top boxes' linked to TVs. (See Government plans electronic information for all)\ \ Gareth Morgan, Managing Director, Ferret Information Systems, explains the benefits of systems using new technologies.

  • They allow for control over the content so that the information should always be current and accurate, there should be no danger of somebody making an important decision on the basis of information contained in a 3 year old leaflet, long out of date.
  • They remove the need for expensive staff to spend time repetitively providing the same information to different users.
  • They allow for different language versions to be available where provision of multi-lingual staff would be impossible, and in some cases they allow for versions appropriate for disabled users to be provided.
  • They allow valuable expertise to be captured and distributed in an effective and easy to understand way - if well designed!

Welfare benefits is one example where information can be tailored to the circumstances of the enquirer, even though it may not be unique to them.\ \ Entitlement to benefits depends on a large number of factors including the number and ages of the people in the family, their savings, their pay and hours of work, type and cost of housing, their health, other people in their house and many other items. But this information when provided will allow an accurate estimate of their entitlement to a variety of benefits to be calculated without requiring them to identify themselves. For a demonstration of this see the on-line calculator of this on our WWW site at\

partnerships/articles/advice1.txt · Last modified: 2017/06/12 10:20 (external edit)