UK Government Websites

The British Government has [finally] woken [partly] up to the need to make some of its workings more visible, and to provide services online.  Here are a few of their efforts to date...

Tragically, there does not seem to be any consistent way of contacting MPs via the internet - the House of Commons site does provide some email contacts - but it looks as if well under 20% of MPs are prepared to embrace the technology enough to let their constituents contact them online...

This is the primary site for finding ANYTHING official to do with Central or Local Government online, including Councils, Regional Authorities, Health Authorities and quangos.

It is run by the CCTA (Central Computer & Telecommunications Agency) and describes the way that the Government is seeking to go online.  If I tell you that the CCTA is a division of the Treasury, you may have some idea of what to expect...  However...

Links to most of the national and local public sector bodies are included in a handy A-Z tabbed reference, making this your main way in to any government or similar site.

A new site (it opened on 4th December 2000) that is the start of the Government's new initiative to make its services available online.  It is based around enquiries on the type of information and service you require, rather than the specific government departments involved.

However, here are a few of the main ones...

The icons aren't that obvious, but it's reasonable to use, and very easy to place a complaint about an advert on-line.
As government sites go, not too bad.  The "Information about the House of Commons and Members of Parliament" section is probably one of the most useful.
A bit like "Points of View" or the Letters page of the Radio Times.  It's a place to go to point out that someone has done something stupid and be patronised by the civil servant who drafts replies.  Don't expect a reply from the PM.
Well, I suppose we all have to talk to them occasionally.  The site includes the facility for electronic filing of tax returns.  Essentially a stuffy civil service site that pretends to be fun because they've got a funny little cartoon character...
Essential if you are running a business, but the site is so large and diverse,  and so .....  civil service  ....  that it is almost impossible to use.  For example, there are THOUSANDS of papers, releases etc., on the site,  and no way whatsoever of searching for them by typing in a keyword.  Worse than the inland revenue.
A complete guide to companies' house services.  The site also contains a searchable database of company names, and another database of legally disqualified directors.   You can order forms etc., online, but you still can't file accounts or returns except on paper!
The site contains a database for checking the availability (or ownership) of trademarks.
A UK Government site covering all aspects of Intellectual Property Rights - patents, trademarks, registered designs...

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