My right hon. and noble Friend the Minister of State, Ministry of Justice, Lord McNally, made the following written ministerial statement:
The Government are today publishing a consultation paper seeking views on the next phase of our proposals to transform the services provided by the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). This 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;
Supervision of deputies;
Access to the registers;
Proposals for a fully digital lasting power of attorney.
The consultation will run until 26 November. Following this, it is our intention to make the necessary changes to enable some of the provisions to come into force during 2014, although the proposals for a fully digital lasting power of attorney post 2014 will require primary legislation.
Today, I have deposited copies of the consultation paper in the Libraries of both Houses. Copies are also available in the Vote Office and Printed Paper Office. Copies are available on the internet at: www.justice.gov.uk.