Tuesday, 10 March 2009

EBay-style feedback for services

Source BBC http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7934042.stm

People in England will get more online powers to rate GPs, police, childcare and councils, Gordon Brown has said.

He said it was wrong that consumer websites such as Amazon and eBay had "higher standards of transparency" than those for public services.

Officials liken the new approach to the Tripadvisor site, where travellers can share their thoughts on hotels.

The PM promised an "information revolution", but the Tories said public services were still too bureaucratic.

In a document called Working Together, Mr Brown acknowledges the government has been "much too slow to make use of the enormous democratising power of information".

He sets out what he calls "a new agenda of public service reform" and says government must transfer more power to parents and patients.

'Systematic access'

A site comparing council services is due to go live in May and the government is also bringing together a national crime map for England and Wales to be available online by the end of 2009.

From this summer, patients will be able to comment on local services and provide feedback on GPs via the NHS Choices website.

Childcare providers are to undergo similar scrutiny from parents via a site expected to be up and running early next year.

Mr Brown said: "We are ushering in a new world of accountability in which parents, patients and local communities shape the services they receive, ensuring all our public services respond not simply to the hand of government, but to the voice of local people."

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