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Admin advisory board seeks GOV.UK feedback

11th Nov 2016
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The Admin Burden Advisory Board (ABAB) wants to know how users interact and communicate with GOV.UK and in particular HMRC related enquiries.

The board has released a survey evaluating user experiences and difficulty in navigating around the GOV.UK site.

As part of their ‘Tell ABAB report”, the independent board is looking for opinions on the appearance of the site, whether the user found the information they wanted on the site, and how GOV.UK compares to other websites.

In one question, the ABAB enquires what the user would do if GOV.UK was unable to provide the answer they wanted. The selected answers range from “call HMRC”, “contact agent” or “give up!”

The survey follows ABAB’s Working with HMRC to make a noticeable difference report which addressed feedback to HMRC’s engagement.

One of the themes that emerged from the report, and which this survey responds to, is a desire for improvements to HMRC’s channel of communication.

The February 2016 report highlights small businesses' frustrations when contacting HMRC over the telephone, which the Revenue has tried alleviating through developing its digital services, such as support tools on GOV.UK.

But ABAB found small businesses struggle using HMRC’s free software because of a lack of detailed and understandable guidance. HMRC acknowledged to the ABAB that the transition to GOV.UK has caused some difficulties in locating the right guidance.

ABAB said: “In our previous report we expressed our reservations on the move to GOV.UK and the need to strike the right balance between simplification of guidance and having sufficient level of detail to ensure businesses understand the requirements. Your feedback told us this is still an issue in some areas so we will explore HMRC’s plans to improve guidance.”

The usability of GOV.UK has been the subject of much derision and criticism from some within the AccountingWEB community.

AccountingWEB readers in the past have complained of mistakes, broken links or badly worded advice. A couple of years ago, AccountingWEB member paulwakefield1 said: “In trying to make it simple, it has become positively misleading (whether or not it is actually wrong).”

While AccountingWEB regular Kevin Ringer recently unearthed a page which contained 33 instances of nothing but “This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000”. He challenged other members to find a more “useful” page.  


What do you think of the HMRC related pages of GOV.UK? Was it difficult finding what you were looking for and to move around the site? You can complete the ABAB survey here and  comment below with  your views.


Replies (2)

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By alan.rolfe
11th Nov 2016 18:21
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By SteveHa
14th Nov 2016 08:48 is, frankly, appalling. The search never returns anything useful, and when you do find what you were looking for it's dumbed down to the point of useless.

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