Headlines: August 30th, 2000

The launch of a service for buying fishing licences from the Environment Agency marks a new era for the delivery of government services on line. Licences will continue to be available from Post Offices, but those who are willing to pay an additional one pound fifty pence can place an order and pay on line and the licence will be delivered to them by post. The service is provided by Impower, a dotcom start up company.The service is easy to use with a selection menu for type and duration of the licence. The transaction can be carried out 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. When the licence expires a reminder will be sent by e-mail. In addition, paying on line by credit card rather than by cash at the post office means that the purchaser can benefit from card reward schemes such as cash back and airmiles.

Impower does not depend for revenue totally on the payment charge. Licence purchasers are asked if they would like to receive fishing publications and this marketing provides additional income.

The company is working with public service providers to develop further low or no-cost applications including: payment of parking tickets and council tax; application for parking permits, planning permission; application and payment for alcohol and entertainment licences; booking and payment for adult education courses and leisure facilities.