The Ministry of Justice and the Government Digital Service (GDS) have launched the government’s second live exemplar service.
The lasting power of attorney (LPA), one of 25 major government services being digitised and redesigned by departments with support from GDS, moved from ‘beta’ to ‘live’ at the end of last week.
LPA is a deed whereby you appoint people to manage your affairs on your behalf, in case you become unable to do so in future. There are two types of LPA and they cost £110 each.
Forms for the service, which is used by 300,000 UK citizens every year, can now be accessed, filled in and paid for online. This means that people can fill in forms once online rather than repeatedly on paper.
Trials during the ‘beta’ stage of development found that the digital service reported lower error rates than the paper-based one, with higher levels of satisfaction.
However, people using the service will still need to print out and sign the forms once they have been filled in online. According to GDS staff, this is because legislation requires a witnessed signature for LPA to be valid. Applications are then posted to the Office of the Public Guardian, an agency of the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) based in Birmingham.
In a blog post MoJ service manager Kit Collingwood said: “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.
“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.”
The first of the 25 digital exemplar services, for student finance, went live in October 2012. The service supports 1.3 million users applying for student loans.