Headlines: March 14th, 2000

Public sector bodies have been asked to check out their accessibility to the public using a new checklist issued by the Minister for the Cabinet Office.The ‘Access Checklist’ is designed to help managers to evaluate how accessible they are to their users and to identify areas for improvement.

Unlike many other forms of performance targets set by central government, this one is a self-evaluation exercise aimed at prompting improvements from within.

The checklist contains a series of questions about the service provided to customers, the quality of the information provided and the culture of the organisation.

It challenges managers to ask themselves whether users have been consulted about accessing their service outside normal opening hours, whether their organisation has explored the possibility of delivering more services electronically, and whether information about their service is available in simple straightforward language.

One of the key commitments in the Modernising government agenda is to make it easier for people to get access to public services.

The Access Checklist is available at: http://www.servicefirst.gov.uk/1999/joinedup/joinedup.htm