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Have Your Say On Government Services


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A search engine on the government website that actually works would be good, try it, it is pants! I generally have to contact Tynwald Library to get the info rather than spending hours scrolling through everything, filters to take out different years at least!

 

Yep, I find it is far easier in the long run to go down to the Tynwald Library. The two column format Hansard uses is archaic, which makes it difficult to read on a PC screen (having to scroll back up to the top of the page for the second column)

 

I always find it better to use Google to search the tynwald website (and the Government website) as in the following format:

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although Google is rarely perfect, this is what happens searching for the words reversed:

post-4192-126660757033_thumb.jpg

 

The Tynwald search facility threw up some interesting results and not only was it able to find the correct Dan Davies(.....though mis-spelt!) I got danger and Dandara and Braddan in the same search!

post-4192-126660759745_thumb.jpg

And amazingly only those 4 results were returned (I couldn't be bothered to do an OR search)

Edited by Theo
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Dan, has the timeline for submitting the form passed by? I filled it in, hit 'Submit' and nothing happened.

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To the extent that the relative cost of providing web-based means to interact with government is not excessive (and it really shouldn't be in most cases) and provided appropriate security measures are used then I'm all for it. To the extent that they're not already available, the following strike me as relatively quick wins:

 

(1) Bookings for leisure facilities

(2) Payment of bills and fines

(3) Health services appointments

(4) Web-based help desks for government departments interacting with the public, where queries raised and the nature and speed of their resolution can be tracked effectively and bottlenecks more easily identified.

 

This is probably outside your remit, but the web also affords an opportunity to engage the community to a greater extent in the political process. For example:

 

(1) A forum where politicians can interact with their constituents in a structured way, and where other consitutents can see how active their representatives are (or are not) being.

(2) Tracking of voting records, so that constituents can clearly see the way their representatives have voted.

(3) eVoting on key issues: technology makes it easy and cheap to canvass all consitutents views as often as is required. It is not necessary and nor is it desirable to limit constituents' role to electing a representative every few years. The current restructuring debacle is precisely the kind of issue where I'm fairly confident that what is being proposed would have been soundly thrashed if put to a vote of all constituents and is a perfect example of why many people are so disenchanted with the political process. I'm not suggesting that every decision is put to an eVote, but requiring the approval of the electorate for key policy decisions might remind the politicians who they're working for.

 

My main word of caution would be not to reinvent the wheel - there's no need to spend tens of thousands developing bespoke systems where there's an off-the-shelf solution that would serve the purpose. Furthermore, don't overestimate the need for systems integration - in some cases it matters that the left hand knows what the right hand is doing, but in many other cases it's irrelevant.

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Dan, has the timeline for submitting the form passed by? I filled it in, hit 'Submit' and nothing happened.

 

No - few weeks to run yet. Something of a #fail on my behalf. The standard consultation web site on gov.im doesn't have the facility to allow you to submit your thoughts online (unless you count the use of a mailto: link). I think this tends to put people off responding (well, it puts me off anyway). So as an experiment I decided to see if we could use Adobe Acrobat to create a form that could be completed on your computer and submitted by email so we could get more people responding who perhaps wouldn't otherwise have taken the time to write in. Unfortunately to make the submit button work you need to have Acrobat Reader installed. So if you're using a Mac or Linux, unless you have proprietary Adobe software installed it won't work. Sorry. I guess you could always save it and email it as an attachment.

 

Something to think about for next time though.

 

Dan

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I've never liked (T&M) time and motion people as it always felt as if the management were looking on new ways to cut corners, but.... since the CS are trying to reduce their numbers/finances etc, then it would make perfect sense to use loads of T&M people to do every position in Government, from the top downwards. It might actually get those 'allegedly' in charge, to actually do their jobs.

 

It would also be interesting to know as to how much time is spent on meetings where minutes are taken and hours lost. Are they necessary or are they just an excuse to validate peoples positions?

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Soon we will hear Tony Brown talking about how there has been a full and thorough consultation with the public on Government Services.

 

It is NOT having a 'say on Government Services', this is only to do with having a say on how Government Services are delivered, not the services themselves.

 

Dan, try asking the switchboard operators, people on the desk and the mail desk staff for most of your answers. That however, does not make it look like something is being done.

 

Along with the largely needless 'Government restructuring' this is yet more window dressing.

Edited by Theo
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Soon we will hear Tony Brown talking about how there has been a full and thorough consultation with the public on Government Services.

 

It is NOT having a 'say on Government Services', this is only to do with having a say on how Government Services are delivered, not the services themselves.

 

Dan, try asking the switchboard operators, people on the desk and the mail desk staff for most of your answers. That however, does not make it look like something is being done.

 

Along with the largely needless 'Government restructuring' this is yet more window dressing.

 

 

Challenge

 

Using only the phone book and IOM government website find out who is responsible for footpaths on the island and how you get one repaired.

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Under "additional suggestions" I put the following :

 

I filled this in at your request but I had no need to as basically I am happy with the way things are. Also what suits a young upwardly mobile person would not suit an elderly disabled one. I feel that a demographic survey of the population types to be served would be more useful than this questionare, which may be construed by some as just a slightly pointless P.R. exercise .

 

It may be more honest to say, "Look here, we have to save a lot of money in the future so you will have to put up with poorer communications. What would you be prepared to sacrifice?"

 

One thing I would be prepared to sacrifice would be questionaires. The voting system is there so that my proxy i.e. my MHK, will make these decisions for me, as he/she has time and access to facilities more dedicated to the matter than I do.

 

I never forget the Post Office sending out a questionaire to ask how we would like our service improved. I said that I would like to get my single post a bit earlier than 12 noon. I now get it at 2 pm !

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Dan, has the timeline for submitting the form passed by? I filled it in, hit 'Submit' and nothing happened.

 

No - few weeks to run yet. Something of a #fail on my behalf. The standard consultation web site on gov.im doesn't have the facility to allow you to submit your thoughts online (unless you count the use of a mailto: link). I think this tends to put people off responding (well, it puts me off anyway). So as an experiment I decided to see if we could use Adobe Acrobat to create a form that could be completed on your computer and submitted by email so we could get more people responding who perhaps wouldn't otherwise have taken the time to write in. Unfortunately to make the submit button work you need to have Acrobat Reader installed. So if you're using a Mac or Linux, unless you have proprietary Adobe software installed it won't work. Sorry. I guess you could always save it and email it as an attachment.

 

Something to think about for next time though.

 

Dan

 

 

Pardon me but hasn't this government spent millions on its Information Systems Division ISD ??????

Maybe you should talk to the Treasury and get some support.

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Soon we will hear Tony Brown talking about how there has been a full and thorough consultation with the public on Government Services.

 

It is NOT having a 'say on Government Services', this is only to do with having a say on how Government Services are delivered, not the services themselves.

 

Dan, try asking the switchboard operators, people on the desk and the mail desk staff for most of your answers. That however, does not make it look like something is being done.

 

Along with the largely needless 'Government restructuring' this is yet more window dressing.

 

 

Challenge

 

Using only the phone book and IOM government website find out who is responsible for footpaths on the island and how you get one repaired.

 

Phone 685685 (the main switchboard) and briefly tell them what you want and they will direct you. Probably to the DoT reception but they should be able to transfer you to someone who can help. Probably.

 

Challenge back

 

Using only the phone book and IOM government website find out who is responsible for overstaffing, overpaying and over pensioning probably the vast majority of Government employees.

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Soon we will hear Tony Brown talking about how there has been a full and thorough consultation with the public on Government Services.

 

It is NOT having a 'say on Government Services', this is only to do with having a say on how Government Services are delivered, not the services themselves.

 

Dan, try asking the switchboard operators, people on the desk and the mail desk staff for most of your answers. That however, does not make it look like something is being done.

 

Along with the largely needless 'Government restructuring' this is yet more window dressing.

 

 

Challenge

 

Using only the phone book and IOM government website find out who is responsible for footpaths on the island and how you get one repaired.

 

Phone 685685 (the main switchboard) and briefly tell them what you want and they will direct you. Probably to the DoT reception but they should be able to transfer you to someone who can help. Probably.

 

 

Good guess. Did you try it? If so can you tell us the answer. Who is responsible? How do you get a footpath repaired?

Challenge back

 

 

Using only the phone book and IOM government website find out who is responsible for overstaffing, overpaying and over pensioning probably the vast majority of Government employees.

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Dan,

 

The answer to any perceived problem here lies with the Isle of Man Government, I really can't see this surevy (er, consultation) being of much use.

 

How about listing online the whole Government organisation as an organogram/organigram. We've all seen a simple such diagram recently issued for the proposed Departmental reorganisation. How about taking the concept further to show the management structure and then the individual workers and their responsibilities/job titles along with their contact details etc. At very least the Government Internal telephone directory should be online, perhaps except for those whose jobs are entirely internal.

 

I am sure each individual section of the Government has a diagram of its structure already. redraft 'em, put them together, link them, add some info - and let us see how our Government Services are made up and what they can do for us.

 

Oh, and this day and age, how come you have not acknowledged VoIP? I suppose it is early days yet for IoM Government, although I see you still believe that some people know what a fax is!

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Dan,

 

The answer to any perceived problem here lies with the Isle of Man Government, I really can't see this surevy (er, consultation) being of much use.

 

How about listing online the whole Government organisation as an organogram/organigram. We've all seen a simple such diagram recently issued for the proposed Departmental reorganisation. How about taking the concept further to show the management structure and then the individual workers and their responsibilities/job titles along with their contact details etc. At very least the Government Internal telephone directory should be online, perhaps except for those whose jobs are entirely internal.

 

I am sure each individual section of the Government has a diagram of its structure already. redraft 'em, put them together, link them, add some info - and let us see how our Government Services are made up and what they can do for us.

 

Oh, and this day and age, how come you have not acknowledged VoIP? I suppose it is early days yet for IoM Government, although I see you still believe that some people know what a fax is!

 

This is a great idea.

We will see who is responsible for what.

And we can draw Venn diagrams to show where they overlap.

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The thread says "Have your say on Government services". I could write a book. Seriously. Some of my experiences would shock decent minded people to the core. They are ongoing and so I feel a public internet forum is not the place to discuss them.

 

I will use a relatively innocuous example to illustrate:

 

April 2006 I took the trouble to write to the Department of Transport about a matter. I received an acknowledgment stating that my letter would be passed to Mr Hannay.

 

October 2006 I wrote again as I had heard nothing.

 

A few days later I received a reply apologising for not responding to my April 2006 letter and that my letter had at that time been passed to Mr 'X', for his attention, and who it was explained had since retired. My correspondence had now been passed to Mr 'Y' with a copy to Mr Hannay.

 

Since then . . . . nothing.

__________________________________

 

I looked at this thread and realised that it was not an opportunity to have a say on Government Services at all, but just a survey on the delivery of those services and more particularly how we, the public, contacted the Government.

 

Would the service have been any better if I had phoned, faxed, emailed or gone down to the DoT in person?

 

Seriously, the survey looks like something I have seen St Ninians school children carrying out in Strand Street for a school project.

 

Dan, please forgive me for being a little personal, I am sure you were lured away from your excellent work at Manx Radio by a fat pay cheque and even fatter pension promises etc. but if this is the sort of work you are contributing to our society . . . I think you have sold yourself out.

Edited by nipper
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