Tuesday, January 23, 2007

E-government: Directgov or Directionlessgov

At a client today, I saw a member of staff looking at the Learning & Skills Council website. I muttered that I could never find anything on there. It was reassuring to learn that “everyone said that”. (I had feared it was just me.) Generally I use google to find LSC documents rather than the searching the labyrinthine LSC website.

Apparently to help us connect with public services, the government is placing increasingly emphasis on directgov for connecting the citizen to the public sector.

Is this faith misplaced? Sadly in the Guardian’s Public magazine directionlessgov was website of the month in November rather than directgov. The people behind TheyWorkForYou.com and FaxYourMP.com appear to have put together a better vehicle (linked to google) for searching public sector websites.

If you put in “LSC funding guidance” into directgov, it hasn’t a clue. In contrast directionlessgov takes you straight there. (In fact, the LSC website’s search function did a pretty good job too so perhaps its not completely useless.)

The world of e-government is a strange world. Text voting is on the near horizon - yet last month I was told by my tax office that they could not communicate by email. So much for "innovation" and "transformation".


Anonymous said...

Directgov's offer is public services all in one place, i.e. information about services for citizens. Would you expect it to cover funding guidance from the LSC?

Bob Deed said...

I think citizens might be concerned about the funding priorities of the LSC - especially at a time of significant reductions in adult provision and changes in the level of fees that learners are expected to contribute.

Anonymous said...

I must admit as a regular user of the LSC website it is not user friendly!

It seems to have more revamps than I have hot dinners and time and time again information appears to move - Bob you are not alone!