back to article Online gov services are mostly time-wasting duplicates, says EU

Sick of repeating the same information every time you need the authorities to help you out? So is the European Commission. According to a new study on eGovernment services, users are still asked to fill in forms with information already available to bureaucrats more than half the time. And if you’re on the move it gets worse …

  1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Good

    "users are still asked to fill in forms with information already available to bureaucrats more than half the time"

    If you need to enter the data multiple times it seems to indicate that it's not being shared by different departments. And they're saying that's wrong?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Good

      They do share, it's just not in any sort of joined up thinking kind of way.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Meh

        Re: Good

        thinking?

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. AndyS

      "Why am I more likely to make a type in my email address than anything else?"

      Apparently, you're not.

    2. John H Woods Silver badge

      Enter your email address / telephone number AGAIN to confirm

      "WHY?" -- 1980s_coder

      +1. I just hold CTRL and press A C I V which normally does it but it's still very annoying!

    3. Kubla Cant Silver badge
      Flame

      Why am I more likely to make a type in my email address than anything else? Doesn't everybody just copy and paste it between the fields, anyway?

      Yes, but there are a significant number of sites where some bastard UI developer from hell has gone to the trouble of disabling copy and paste in these fields.

      1. Joel 1
        Flame

        @Kubla Cant

        "Yes, but there are a significant number of sites where some bastard UI developer from hell has gone to the trouble of disabling copy and paste in these fields"

        Not only that, but numerous sites try and tell me that my email address incorporating +siteidentifier is not a valid address (which it is). Why can't they read the RFCs to find out what is valid, instead of randomly guessing?

        1. dcluley
          FAIL

          Re: @Kubla Cant

          When I was teaching computing at an FE College I had occasion to try to send an email to IBM via their web site. It rejected my email on the grounds that my college email address was not a valid email address.

      2. Blank-Reg
        Flame

        Feckers. That'll boil your piss and no mistake. Fortunately, I've not come across one of those as yet. Either that, or NoScript's working wonders to reduce my stress.

        PS - request to el-reg to have a punched screen icon when the flames aren't enough

  3. Doctor_Wibble

    Death is also a life event

    Not mine, as obviously that won't be my problem to deal with - but having had to deal with one of these, the biggest problem isn't repeated information, it's "what am I supposed to do next?". Every time you think you're going to find an official step by step guide (and STFW is just as bad, if not worse) you are let down by the realisation that most of it is in fact covering all those weird exceptions that happened to one person once back in the 1600s.

    It never had to be grand or complicated : These forms by those dates, here's a list of departments not on the 'tell us once' system, here's a printed flowchart thing so you know what happens next and how long you have to get it done. But no, instead the secret knowledge is not unlocked until you have completed the current level and suddenly you are back on a countdown clock again.

    And don't get me started on solicitors and accountants failing to live up to reasonable expectations...

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Death is also a life event

      Registry Offices often supply an information pack produced by the county council, which brings us to the question as to why are county councils are having to produce information because central government (at least in England) can't be bothered. The information packs will also vary between counties which is evidently wrong too.

      Tell Us Once is a nice idea but the DWP itself is manifestly unable to cope with bereavement, you just enter telephone menu hell then get told to ring somewhere else and start again with more telephone menu hell at a time when you really can not be bothered with it.

  4. Dabooka Silver badge
    Stop

    I call shenanigans

    "Forms pre-filled with data already available to public administrations (e.g. date of birth, home address, marital status) would stop wasting everyone’s time, but are available only in 45 per cent of cases."

    Only 45%?

    Bollocks, I don't believe it's a tenth of that. Not that that's a bad thing per se...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Checking

    maybe like in a hospital where date of birth is frequently asked the purpose is not the information itself, but that it proves who you are (and a level of self-awareness/competency).

    1. Arthur Dent

      Re: Checking

      Yes, it is - but that's spoken, not form filling. The person asking for your DoB will have it on paper in front of him/her when he/she asks.

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