Headlines: June 22nd, 1998

A smart card has been launched which allows people to do business with the Government without the traditional mountain of paper to be signed.

The ‘Endorse’ card can be picked up from their local bank, and used to help newly self-employed people register their changed employment status on the internet.

A code on the card verifies the identity of users, and there’s no need for an official signature. Electronic forms are then automatically sent to the Contributions Agency, Inland Revenue and HM Customs and Excise. It is the first time this service has been brought into the home.

Public Service Minister Dr David Clark said: “The service will save time, eliminate paperwork, and allow the newly self-employed to conduct their dealings with government more conveniently.

“This pilot is part of the quiet revolution which is transforming the way public services are delivered. It plays an important part in the Better Government programme. IT is the key to unlocking better services.”

Initially the pilot is limited to nine branches of Barclays Bank and will run for six months.