UK - Research Predicts Govt IT Revolution LONDON, ENGLAND, 1997 APR 9 (NB) -- By Sylvia Dennis. According to research commissioned by Bull Information systems, the British public will increasingly rely on information technology (IT) in their efforts to communicate with the government in all its forms. The report suggests that a significant proportion of the UK's citizens want to use the latest technologies, such as the Internet and smart cards, to interact with central and local government. The research surveyed 1,001 British citizens over the age of 15, on how they preferred to communicate with government and their attitudes to using technology in this process. The research, undertaken by Kable, concentrated on the four key ways in which people interact with government: obtaining products and or services, such as TV licenses and benefits payments; by tracking information on government activities, for example, the spending of council tax revenues; registering with government departments key life changes, such as births, deaths, and marriages; and finally accessing and interacting with records held by government bodies -- foe example, health or scholastic. The survey revealed that those who have either grown up with technologies such as PCs, or have access to them in the workplace, are the most keen to communicate electronically. The research discovered that as much as UKP37,800,000 of TV license revenue might be generated via e-mail and the Internet, even though these technologies are still relatively new to the public. Direct debit and call center technology also received a boost, as the survey underlined the important role they have to play when the British public obtains government services. According to the findings, 34 percent of respondents chose to pay for their TV licenses by direct debit, while 36 percent of those surveyed prefer the telephone to postage when dealing with government departments. The report concludes that Internet and electronic kiosks appeal to a significant number of respondents as methods of obtaining information on government. Surprisingly, of those who preferred kiosks, 17 percent were aged 55 or over, citizens traditionally associated with "technophobia." The Internet won its fans in the age group which has most familiarity with PCs, the 15-44 year olds, Newsbytes notes. Interestingly, smart cards also found favor with respondents over personal health or academic records -- an overwhelming 80 percent of respondents saw smart cards as "very" or "extremely" useful. Only one percent of those surveyed would choose to use a government- provided ID card. Richard Snook, chief executive officer of Bull Information Systems, said that the company is poised to be a major provider of electronic services both to the public and private sectors in the emerging information age. "The importance of our research is that it is the first definitive view of what the public thinks about interacting electronically with government," he said. "It is clear that, despite an increasing comfort factor with technology and the efficiencies associated with this, people still want human contact." According to Snook, while the public has recognized the value of having a central point of information, there is a range of security and privacy issues associated with this that must be resolved. "The report not only gives a fascinating insight into attitudes towards the information revolution, but also is critical reading for anyone wishing to do business with, or interact with, the public now and in the future," he explained. (19970409/Press & Reader Contact: Amanda Purdie, Bull UK Press Office +44-181-479-2751/Reported By Newsbytes News Network: http://www.newsbytes.com) Copyright 1997 The Newsbytes News Network. All rights reserved.