On 27 July, the Government published a consultation paper seeking views on our proposals to digitise the services provided by the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). This consultation reinforces our commitment to implementing the “digital by default” approach in public services.
The OPG is currently undertaking a programme of reform that is designed to meet two key challenges. First, to reform its systems and processes in order to deal effectively and consistently with ever increasing demand to register lasting powers of attorney—a trend that is set to continue with the country’s ageing demographic. Secondly, to transform the way its services are delivered to the public in order to reduce bureaucracy, making its services to customers simpler, more efficient and more accessible. This will be achieved by making the majority of its services accessible online.
Our consultation paper, therefore, seeks views on the following issues:
The forms and application process for lasting powers of attorney;
The language used to explain legal responsibilities;
The role of certificate providers;
The process for registering lasting powers of attorney;
The role of named persons;
How confirmation is given that a lasting power of attorney has been registered;
The statutory waiting period for lasting powers of attorney;
Supervision of deputies;
Changing security bond provider;
Online payment of fees;
Access to the registers; and
Providing an “assisted digital” service.
The consultation will run until 19 October. Following this, it is our intention to make the necessary changes to enable the provisions to come into force in April 2013.
Copies of the consultation paper are available in the Libraries of both Houses, as well as in the Vote Office and Printed Paper Office. Copies are also available on the internet at: www.justice.gov.uk.