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The end result is that the citizen who needs multiple services is left to join up the various islands of service to meet his or her needs. As departments do not appear to accept each other's identification of the citizen, the citizen has to validate his or her identity at each service transaction. This model of service provision is underpinned by a mass of helplines, call centres, front-line offices and websites. A similar situation applies to interactions with business resulting in business being required to provide the same information to many parts of government.
I very much agree with this as a statement of reality, but it does highlight an issue for me which is:
- do we want a state that gives us a menu or one which plans our meals for us?
Geoff's question is key. Some need meals on wheels, some are happy to do supermarkets with loyalty cards and all, but the growth is in farmers markets where we trust the quality.