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Also posted on: Nigel Stanley
Like anyone that has been around government websites for more than 30 seconds I am extremely cynical that they are of any use and ultimately make anyone’s life any easier. But hold on, I think I have found a gem here.
Many moons ago I was involved with a local government project, the objective of which was to “e” enable local services for the “citizen stakeholder”, taking them through their life in the borough from birth (i.e. online registration), through schooling (i.e. select/apply online) and death (i.e. online registration. Or maybe get someone to do it for you in your absence)
Whilst the above makes sense, of course it was nearly impossible due to technical and political problems. The great “get out of prison” clause was down to the definition of “e” enable. Some bright spark decided that in fact if they made these services all available via the telephone then they were “e” enabled and grant money would be received.
Hardly the spirit of the project I suggested. Suffice to say I wasn’t involved for long.
Anyway, back to the point of this blog.
Being the owner of a certain type of motor vehicle that causes apoplectic rage in some and spasms of delight in others, namely a Land Rover Defender, I had the 6 monthly ritual of taxing the beast. I normally hate doing this ever since I was told off by a Post Office Clerk 23 years ago for not having the correct documentation with me.
Since then I have been renewing by post, which I inevitably get wrong as I send the incorrect insurance certificate to the Post Office. This time I was invited to renew via the government web site www.direct.gov.uk/taxdisc. With the final roll out of electronic MOT certificates, and the insurance industry database online they can tell if you are insured and have a valid MOT.
So, I typed in my reference number, they checked me out online and within 1 minute I had entered my credit card details and paid for the tax disc. Simple as that, and yes I am impressed.
Assuming I get my tax disc in the post in 5 days and my credit card remains secure my happiness level will be retained.