The idea of having multimedia kiosks from which citizens can carry out their transactions with the authorities has been kicking around for some time. Indeed, pilot booths were on display at an exhibition in Brighton early last year.
The plan was to place the terminals in public libraries, council buildings and similar municipal facilities. Members of the public would be able to get information on council services, tax, education, benefits, and so on. More ambitiously, they could also allow the user to do useful things like pay council taxes, register to vote, make appointments with officials, or sign on to claim benefit.
That was a year ago, but the wheels of government turn slowly. A green paper called 'government.direct' has been published, which contains a vision of booths in public places through which people can obtain driving licences, get information on VAT, and so on.
As it's still at the consultation stage, the active citizens among you might like to send in suggestions. The green paper can be found at: www.open.gov.uk/citu/gdirect/ ind1.htm, and there's a feedback form for your response.
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