back to article Users shun UK.gov flagship digital service

Just a tiny proportion of people are completing the online application for a lasting power of attorney - one of the government's flagship digital services. An LPA is a legal document that allows often vulnerable individuals to appoint someone to make decisions on their behalf. Around 300,000 such applications are made each …

  1. Rob

    Surprised?

    No, not really.

    Glad GDS have been spanking my tax money on expensive coffee and iThingys for them to play with in their swish Westminister offices.

  2. Synonymous Howard

    Was not aware of this LPA online service so had a look..

    It came 'top' in a google search and so should be easy for JoeP to find .. however it is not a fully online service and the online bit looks like a guided way to complete a 'paper form' which you then need to print out anyway ... the basic instructions are:

    "How to register

    Apply to register as soon as you’ve sent the ‘notice of intention’ form to the people who need to be told.

    There are 2 ways to register:

    + use the online tool if you originally used it to make your LPA - go straight to step 4 after you’ve signed in

    + download and fill in the application to register (LPA002) if you didn’t use the online tool

    Print out the form and sign it when you’ve finished, then send it to OPG - the address is on the form.

    Make sure you include the original lasting power of attorney form and the fee."

    So I can see why most people might just fill in a blank form and post it off as it is probably quicker and easier for most JoeP to handle.

    Personally I think Register's criticism is unfounded in this case.

  3. RISC OS

    The complete digitalisation of the process would remove safeguards...

    ... provided by physical witnessed signatures.

    well maybe if you are that worried, lawyers, cut your prices per hour to something that, say a tesco self-filler, could afford and you may get to keep your business

    1. Peter2 Silver badge

      Re: The complete digitalisation of the process would remove safeguards...

      Prices per hour? I wish. Can you provide a single example of a firm regulated by the SRA not providing an affordable fixed fee for completing an LPA? As far as i'm aware our competitors that weren't doing fixed fee work went out of business years ago, with the exception of a few London firms doing work for people who don't know (or much care) what they are being charged.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    'Service so good' NO ONE USES IT. Money well spent, eh?

    Of course it is, you're looking at it wrong. The system is working as intended.

    The harder and more unpleasant they can make entering the system, the fewer people will do so. Less claims to process equals cost savings.

    The fewer people in the queue, the faster the poor buggers at the sharp end of processing the queue will clear it. Wait times will go down. Shorter wait times will tick a few performance target boxes.

    Reduced costs, shorter wait times are "News Worthy", the project is obviously a success and HMG can demonstrate that "Some Thing Has Been Done"

  5. Anonymous John

    Please write out 100 times.

    UK courts never use gavels. Never!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Please write out 100 times.

      Yes but it was the first image they could find on Google.

      1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

        Re: Please write out 100 times.

        Yes but it was the first image they could find on Google.

        Not least among the horrors of the Reg redesign is the replacement of a small collection of, admittedly rather boring, images with a larger range of bigger, more intrusive, and largely irrelevant ones.

  6. clocKwize

    I like gov.uk in general. It looks nice, the information is generally easy to find, its often laid out in a nicer way. Far better than the old sites its replacing, its always a work in progress I guess, there is a lot of information and functionality to move, but I think they've doing a good job so far.

    1. Ledswinger Silver badge

      " Far better than the old sites its replacing,"

      But it's just a portal to other sites, each with its own logic and purpose. So if you search on self assessment, gov.uk comes top of the list, but then merely directs you off to HMRC that has its own identity, logic and design. If you search on taxing a car then something similar happens, and then you end up at the DVLA's self service web site (which is delightfully painless given the poor reputation of DVLA, or painless until you get stung for hundreds of quid).

      Given that gov.uk is generally a bit pointless I suppose it doesn't matter that (eg) NS&I and industry regulators seem to be outside the scope of gov.uk.

  7. Tanuki

    Having recently had to be a party to a LPA, the idea of "just filling in some form or other online" without legal advice being on hand would have been utter madness.

    [It may be OK in the simplest of cases but as soon as the LPAing individual is a landlord, trustee, member of a LLP or similar it gets very fun very fast]

    Best bit about .gov.uk is the ability to pay VED online. Though it doesn't make the pain of coughing-up the readies for a "Band M" vehicle any less painful.

  8. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Meh

    'kin useless

    In a bored moment I decided to to look up the curent state pension payout. The figure they show was current in 2012!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I just tried using

    The HMRC.gov.uk site to file my tax return. WOW the hassle

    I had to have

    Unique ID thingy, which I had

    Email address that i signed up with (which died ages ago)

    Password that I had no idea was sent to me by plain text in an email to a dead email address

    Luckily the girl on the phone yesterday (after about 5 attempts) managed to reset everything and I got

    into the HMRC SA site to file.

    I'm thinking a few sheets of paper might be called for next year!! ;)

    1. Tom Wood

      Yes the HMRC site is painfully out of date. Once you have completed your tax return you can download it as a PDF, the site tells you how long it will take to download on both a 28k modem and a 56k modem.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        on both a 28k modem and a 56k modem

        Perhaps the Indian developers don't know about anything more recent.

        1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

          Re: on both a 28k modem and a 56k modem

          But the actually process of filling in the various online forms is remarkably painless, given how complicated the rules are. I'd prioritise making sure the core system works well over remembering to update the likely download time

          1. jonathanb Silver badge

            Re: on both a 28k modem and a 56k modem

            Provided your tax affairs are straightforward. If you have anything remotely out of the ordinary in your income, then you have to revert to a paper return.

    2. Just Enough
      Facepalm

      Clearly it is totally HMRC's fault that you registered with an email address that you allowed to die before updating, and that you forgot your password.

  10. choleric

    Online LPA service ...

    Maybe some kind civil servant needs to complete a LPA application for the vulnerable Online LPA service.

  11. Old_timer

    I've just tried to use the online system to change the address on my driving licence. The first time I tried to move on from the info page, the connection timed out. The next time I got 'Sorry... The service is unavailable at this time.'

  12. Johnnie

    Well I think it's good

    I've done two LPAs, one before the digital version where a pdf was filled out by hand and one online. For me, the new online version is significantly easier to complete, with much less chance you'll get something wrong. Filing an LPA isn't a trivial process but they've made it as easy as possible to get it right. I have major issues with most of what this (and every other) government has done, but this has been well thought out.

    1. Steve 114
      Thumb Up

      Re: Well I think it's good

      Wife and I did reciprocal LPAs, just in case. It's quite difficult (and expensive) however you do it. Problem is that the people who most need to do it are the least likely to be able to do it

  13. Terry 6 Silver badge

    Holy Grail

    Organisations, not just the gov, seem to have the idea that they can save costs by shifting everything onto a website.

    Which is fine, except that too often this leads to a site that is far too dense in printed words for people to comprehend properly.

    And, perhaps more to the point, too inhuman.

    People like to feel they are dealing with people - and with good reason, people interact and meet you halfway. Web pages don't.

  14. cortland

    Ah!

    Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded.

    --Yogi Berra

    http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/y/yogiberra100418.html

  15. redchester

    In this particular case, the gov is motivated to get as many people creating LPAs as possible as the cost to the taxpayer of assigning deputies to make decisions on behalf of those who have lost mental capacity without an LPA in place is a lot higher. I'm not sure that what you're saying makes much sense.

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