The government is furthering its aim to give people access to government information via high street kiosks and TVs which was originally outlined in November. Tomorrow it will launch a series of pilots designed to put citizens in touch with the government.
The pilots include an Internet-based form for people to register themselves as self-employed; BT Touchpoint kiosks, a network of 200 kiosks available within the M25 area that carries local information; a rural post office kiosk; and several kiosks giving geographical information.
Called Government Direct, the projects were discussed in a green paper published last year. Public service minister, Roger Freeman said the document attracted 300 responses.
He said they showed broad support but quelled fears that the plans would create huge databases to spy on people and that they are moves to cut costs.
Commented Freeman: ?I am happy to assure that such fears are utterly groundless. There are also concerns about data protection, and about potential marginalisation of disadvantaged people and disabled people. These concerns will require much careful work to resolve.?
He continued: ?The views of the public on pilot schemes will be sought and recorded through market research, and the results will be published to inform the debate.? Once the views have been taken he expects to present a White Paper to Parliament.
Government Direct is expected to help cut thousands of clerical jobs since a quarter of all dealings with the government will be done on-screen within five years.
Already the Civil Service has shaved one per cent of its workforce. Between October and January the number of full-time civil services fell by 4,000 to 482,000.
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