Government plans electronic information for all

David Wilcox, wrote this article in 1997

Government aims to promote the use of online information services to the point where this is 'the preferred option for the majority of government's customers (both citizens and businesses)'.

Details of the proposals were set out in a Green Paper 'Government Direct: A Prospectus for the Electronic Delivery of Government Services' and explained by the Minister for Public Service, Roger Freeman, at the IT for All launch in December 1996.

He said: 'It will become possible to interact with government at the time and place chosen by the user. Through public access kiosks, through personal computers at home or in businesses and eventually through the domestic TV set, government services will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at the touch of a button. Many contacts with government will be carried out this way: obtaining information; applying for a licence; enquiring about regulations or taxation; applying for grants or benefits; the collection of statistics or even selling products to Government. In the longer term, it will become possible to carry out the whole transaction electronically on the spot.'

These developments are planned within the next 10 years, and will be another major factor in establishing online information as an important part of everyday life.

The advantages of online advice, by Gareth Morgan

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