Brown reveals plans for paperless society within four years
By Tim Sheahan Tuesday, 23 March 2010
Prime Minister Gordon Brown has announced plans to create a paperless society by delivering job centre, passport, driving licence and benefit administration online over the next four years.
Outlining his vision of a Digital Britain in his Building Britain's Digital Future speech yesterday (22 March), Brown revealed plans for MyGov – a personalised web portal for each UK citizen that would give them access to a raft of government services online.
According to the Prime Minister, the government could save £900m a year simply by equiping UK residents who don't have high-speed internet access with broadband.
Brown said: "We know that for every transaction with a public service that is done online rather than over the telephone we can save around £3.30 in administration and staffing costs.
"And using the internet rather than filling in paper forms or writing letters can typically save £12 each time."
Other services that could be accessed through the online gateway would include the ability to book a doctor's appointment, register car details or apply for a school place for a child.
However, the BPIF has warned that a paperless state could also turn out to be a "faceless one" if the government's plans go ahead.
Andrew Brown, corporate affairs director, said: "Unless the technology is well thought through, people will be disinclined to use it and will resent government efforts to force them to.
"However, at least the government has admitted that its aim is to save money through this initiative, rather than giving us some greenwash about saving the planet. So hopefully, we don’t have to remind them that paper comes from a renewable source."
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