Jim Murphy, parliamentary secretary at the UK Cabinet Office, recently gave a speech entitled “Towards Customer Centric Government: Strategies for Service Transformation“.

Reporting on this, Ann Light in Usability News is particularly struck by the section on relevancy: ‘We live in a world where the old political contract – between a deferential citizen and a paternalistic Government cannot deliver. We want a more grown–up relationship. We recognise the need for citizens to have both ‘choice’ and ‘voice’, Choice in how they use public services. And a voice in how these services are created around them. Choice to those whose voice is traditionally not heard in this debate.’

At heart of this new choice and voice is technology: ‘Thanks to IT, families, regardless of economic background, will be able to get the same level of service. And IT can help dismantles the barriers put up by producers and geographic environment. For example, The Citizens Direct consumer helpline and Web site creates a common process and single interface to trading standards offices across the country. A complainant gets service at the best level not just the level afforded locally.”

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