Government plans info-kiosks

Design ministeR Ian Taylor sees “very exciting potential for design” in the launch of eight pilot touchscreen kiosks enabling the public to access Government information.

An Inland Revenue spokeswoman confirms that the Government is “interested in getting feedback from the public about the design”. She adds: “We’ll definitely need design impact for the project’s next stage.”

Information on pensions, tax queries, social security benefits and driving licenses can be accessed via the screens, which will be installed in shopping centres and libraries and can be put into offices. Acording to Taylor, small businesses will also benefit from the information.

The screens will be piloted over the next 18 months. “After that period we’ll define how we approach designers,” says a Cabinet Office spokeswoman. She was unable to say how consultancies would be selected.

The pilot screens are designed in-house. Michael Jack MP, financial secretary to the Treasury, confirms that the Government is looking for ways to make the screens “more user-friendly and convenient”, adding that “it is crucial they are easy to use”.

The screens are part of an initiative between the Inland Revenue, Customs and Excise and the Contributions Agency, and will provide information researched by all three departments.

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