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People portal gets more powerful

Online govt may be hazy, but here's a taster

One of the first paving stones in the pathway to online government was laid today with the addition of a change of address service and limited online democracy to the government's services portal UKonline.gov.uk.

Until now UKonline.gov.uk has been available in only a limited way, but from next month it'll be possible to tell the portal where you live, or where you've moved to, and it will pass the information to all government departments that need to know where you live.

But perhaps only those people who don't mind the government knowing where they live, and whether the government will be able to bring online those people who don't remains to be seen.

There is now a 'Life Episodes' area of UKonline.gov.uk, which is gives a single jumping-off point for people who've been bereaved, who are learning to drive, having a baby, and other major issues. The bereavement section, for example, carries information about how to make a will, register a death or find support groups.

There's also a sign the government may be adopting more radical online government ways. In the 'CitizenSpace' there is the option to send your views on government plans and policy, and a place to inquire about voting. Whether this is laying ground for online voting is currently unclear.

One development to UKonline.gov.uk the rest of the web business world is convinced is important is the ability to localise the site. People can now read the site in Welsh, or get information specifically about how services are delivered in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.


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