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partnerships:articles:direct [2017/06/12 10:20] (current)
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 +Government Green Paper promotes public access
 +=============================================
 +
 +David Wilcox posted this message to the IACN mailing list on November 18
 +1996. See also Gareth Morgan'​s article [The Technology of
 +Advice.](advicel)
 +
 +------------------------------------------------------------------------
 +
 +Apologies for a rather long posting - and any duplication - but I think
 +this could be a really good opportunity for UK community networkers to
 +discuss the future with government........maybe through a conferencing
 +system?\*
 +
 +------------------------------------------------------------------------
 +
 +The UK Government'​s desire to cut the cost to taxpayers of information
 +services and improve direct communication with citizens could lead to a
 +big increase in public access to the Internet over the next ten years.
 +This in turn could be good news for community networking - but depends
 +very much how systems are implemented.\
 +\
 + That, anyway, is my reading of the recent Green Paper '​Government
 +Direct: A Prospectus for the Electronic Delivery of Government
 +Services'​. (<​http://​www.open.gov.uk/​citu/​gdirect/​ind1>​)\
 +\
 + The Green paper hasn't received much media attention, but is essential
 +reading (download the Word 6 file for speed - the html version is
 +graphics-heavy).\
 +\
 + It sets out ' a prospectus - a strategy - for a new way of delivering
 +central government services across the United Kingdom. These services
 +include providing information,​ collecting taxes, granting licences,
 +administering regulations,​ paying grants and benefits, collecting and
 +analysing statistics, and procuring goods and services'​.\
 +\
 + The strategy also includes Government to agency and local government
 +communication,​ and Government to citizen email.\
 +\
 + '​The strategy should aim to make electronic delivery of services the
 +preferred option for the majority of government'​s customers (both
 +citizens and businesses). However it is likely that there will always be
 +people who are either not willing or not able to use such services.
 +These groups should retain the option of a traditional face-to-face,​
 +telephone or paper-based service'​.\
 +\
 + The three purposes of the strategy are to\
 + - provide better and more efficient services to business and citizens\
 + - improve the efficiency and openness of government administration\
 + - secure substantial cost savings for taxpayers\
 +\
 + My understanding is that the government view is current forms of paper
 +and face-to-face services won't be affordable in 10 years - there'​s
 +thought to be little choice but to get people online. In addition, I
 +suspect, politicians would not be averse to systems which allowed them a
 +channel for communication to citizens which bypassed the editorial
 +filter of the usual mass media.\
 +\
 + The systems proposed in the Green Paper are a mix of public
 +touch-screen terminals, personal computers in home or office, and the
 +new 'set top boxes' linking cable, satellite or phone to the TV set.\
 +\
 + '​The terminal in the home or in the place of work could, in due course,
 +provide an electronic '​one-stop-shop'​ for government services, available
 +24 hours a day, seven days a week where appropriate,​ and offering as
 +near to instant response as practicable'​.\
 +\
 + The systems proposed will be piloted, and the Green paper makes it
 +clear that under the current Government they would be installed by the
 +private sector under competitive tendering procedures.\
 +\
 + '​Money to pay the contractors would come from part of the savings in
 +the cost of government administration (the balance going to the
 +taxpayers)'​.\
 +\
 + '​Some of the pilots will build on activities already being undertaken
 +by government departments. Many will involve the private or voluntary
 +sector or both, and all will support the Government'​s Information
 +Society Initiative'​.\
 +\
 + On domestic use of TV, the Green paper says: 'It is likely that the new
 +television sets which will receive digital television programmes
 +(whether digital satellite or digital terrestrial television) will also
 +have the ability to access online services, either using a set top box
 +or an integrated unit. Information will be received via the digital
 +television channel and information can be sent back using a television
 +line. All of these systems could be used to access government
 +services'​.\
 +\
 + The Green Paper poses a series of questions, including 'How might
 +electronic service delivery be arranged to bring the greatest benefits
 +to the citizen?'​ and invites responses by post, or email to
 +greenpaper@citu.gov.uk.\
 +\
 + This is a great opportunity for those who want to promote electronic
 +democracy and community use of the medium to put their views to
 +government, and to raise questions about the new systems will operate.
 +Will they be big pipes down, small pipes back - keypads for responses,
 +not keyboards? Or could they really provide lift off for community
 +networking in the UK?\
 +\
 + ​Unfortunately there is no conferencing system on the open.gov server
 +allowing those responding to see each others comments.\
 +\
 + \*Is this is good topic for the excellent UK Citizens Online Democracy
 +system ([http://​www.mysocirty.org](http://​www.mysociety.org)) to
 +mount an online discussion forum?\
 +\
 + ​Regards\
 + ​[David](mailto:​dwilcox@pavilion.co.uk)\
 +\
 + [Back to the Guide to Community Internet](../​pubs/​guidel)\
 +
  
partnerships/articles/direct.txt ยท Last modified: 2017/06/12 10:20 (external edit)