E-government needs better links

Online government services aren't exciting users because so many transactions have to be finished offline, according to new research.

According to the survey by IT management firm Touchpaper, 53 per cent of respondents rated e-government services as just average or below, largely because many transactions can not be fully completed online.

"Government services play a vital role in citizens' everyday lives and as we move towards an entirely online-dependent world, the government needs to ensure that it has an adequate structure in place to handle online processes seamlessly and efficiently from start to finish," said Marina Stedman, marketing director at Touchpaper.

Nearly two-thirds of people asked in the survey said they had used forms found online, but 80 per cent were disappointed they couldn't submit the documents over the internet as well.

A third of those asked said a complaint they sent in via a local council website did not garner the proper response.

Of the people who had never used e-government services, the majority said they were simply not aware of the online offering.

"The fact that disconnected systems and processes are to blame for most respondents' bad experiences - never mind some 60% not even knowing it is possible to access such services online - suggests that there is still a long way to go before users can rely on e-government services," said Stedman.