Monday, April 01, 2002

e-Government has been a bit of a global bust to date. I don't see any example, anywhere, of radical redesign. I haven't seen any sign of the joined up, citizen focused process that we know will make the big difference (and drive that inflection point - that word again!). But there again, in recent weeks I've tried to sort out a bunch of things on commercial web sites. I've booked cars ("error: there are no cars available" was the most common message - since when was that an error? Surely the message is "we're such a great company, and so successful that all our cars are sold out...we do have cars for these that any good"); tried to pay bills by direct debit (check the back of your electricity bill, gas bill or water bill and see if you can figure out how to do it); ordered something from amazon and hard it ignore me completely; tried to send mail using a web form to an online-only stock broker (unless the mail was 25 characters or less, it rejected the mail - by resetting the page and deleting everything that you'd typed up until then). So I don't feel too bad. Actually, I think government is getting it right albeit slower than I'd like. The government problem is bigger, more complicated and has more history than any commercial problem - so, keep smiling government-folks, we're getting there.

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