The Government Digital Service (GDS) has announced that an exemplar service, lasting power of attorney (LPA), moved from ‘beta’ to ‘live’ last week.
GDS claims this is the first exemplar service to pass the Digital By Default service standard assessment to go into live service.
LPA is a deed that allows people to appoint people to manage their affairs on their behalf in the event they become unable to do so. There are two kinds of LPA, both costing £110 each.
Around 300,000 UK citizens use the service every year and the necessary forms can now be filled in and paid for once online, rather than doing so repeatedly on paper.
Lower error rates, along with higher levels of satisfaction, were reported for the digital service compared with the paper version during trials held in the beta stage of development.
Although the forms can now be filled in online, users must still print the documents because legislation requires a witnessed signature for LPA to be valid.
Once applications have been printed, they are to be posted to Ministry of Justice (MoJ) agency the Office of the Public Guardian, based in Birmingham.
“We’ve got big plans for the LPA service; we’ve only just started on the road to channel shift, so we’re going to be raising awareness of the service and working with interest groups to encourage professional uptake,” claimed Kit Collingwood, MoJ service manager.
“We’re looking at making every aspect of applying for an LPA as user-centric as the digital service is and we’ve got a backlog of features which we’ll be getting straight to in the morning,” Collingwood added.
Government Digital Transformation
The government is currently in the process of transforming 25 of its major services – those with the highest volume transactions – into exemplar digital projects.
Whitehall claims the digitisation will lead to £1.2 billion of savings and it is due to be complete by March 2015.