Headlines: November 26th, 2010

Martha Lane Fox, the UK digital Champion, has called for public services to be delivered online or by other digital means.

In her report she argues that public services should provide higher quality and more convenient 24/7 services to users. As well as delivering better services for citizens, 30 per cent of government service delivery contacts should be shifted to digital channels. Such a move has the potential to deliver gross annual savings of more than £1.3 billion, rising to £2.2 billion if 50 per cent of contacts shifted to digital.

The recommendations in her report include simplifying the user experience of digital public services by making all of government’s transactional services available through Directgov and ensuring online government information and services are available wherever people are on the web by opening up applications and services to other organisations.

She also proposed that an Executive Director for Digital and Information should be brought into the Cabinet Office to drive change and bring together existing teams working in this area.

Martha Lane Fox said: “For years, businesses have been using digital communications to improve services and engagement with their consumers. Government should take advantage of the more open, agile and cheaper digital technologies to deliver simpler and more effective digital services to users, particularly to disadvantaged groups who are some of the heaviest users of government services.”

She added: “Through Race Online 2012, we now have more than 800 partners promising to help nearly 1.8 million new people enjoy the benefits of more convenient internet services by the end of the Olympic year.”