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UK: Maude Reveals First ''Digitalised'' Services
Source: http://www.publicservice.co.uk/news_story.asp?id=21760
Source Date: Friday, December 21, 2012
Focus: Institution and HR Management
Country: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Created: Dec 27, 2012

The first wave of public services that will be "digitalised" by 2015 has been announced by the Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude. The aim, he said, is to give the public quicker and more convenient services suited for the 21st century and save taxpayers up to £1.2bn by 2015 and around £1.7bn a year after that.

Maude said that to ensure the civil service could meet the rising expectations of the public, and deliver public services more cheaply and effectively, the government embraced a digital-by-default agenda. Every year, he said, the government handles over a billion different transactions across 650 different services and digital services can be 20 times cheaper than doing the same thing by phone, 30 times compared to post, and 50 versus a face-to-face transaction.

"Britain is in a global race," Maude said, "and as the world has changed so must the civil service. In the past, online services from the government were woefully worse than those offered by the private sector. It will be these modern, digital-by-default public services – delivered by an exceptional civil service – that will give the British people the 21st-century government they deserve."

The new digital services announced include:
• National Apprenticeship Service – candidates will be able to search for vacancies and apply online, while employers will be able to advertise vacancies and identify suitable candidates;
• Tax self-assessment – as people prepare for the deadline to complete their tax returns, the government has announced plans for a new, and for the first time entirely online, service for returns;
• Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks – in the year that volunteering received the recognition it deserves, plans for a more straightforward online applications process for DBS is unveiled to make it easier for people to volunteer; and
• Intellectual Property – entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes will be able to register, track and manage patents and trade-marks and designs more swiftly and straightforwardly online with the Intellectual Property Office.
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