Tell Us Once (TUO)

  • - Ongoing

    United Kingdom

The Tell Us Once (TUO) program is an example of the implementation of the “once only” principle for citizens in the United Kingdom. Tell Us Once is the award winning cross-government service that makes it possible for citizens to inform government just once of a birth or death. 44 local authorities (LA) take part in this initiative to offer 24 services such as the Council Housing service or the Passport service. TUO is offered by most local authorities on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). It is put in place to save time and reduce effort. In the TUO service, citizens are participating as data provider, providing data once to the Department of work and pensions, who acts as data owner and subsequently provides access to these data to a bunch of data consumers such as local and central government authorities including HM Passport Office, HM Revenue and Customs who do not ask the citizen again about these data. To update data regarding births or deaths, DWP provides three different channels for citizens: online, telephone, face-to-face.

A customer survey took place in the summer of 2013 to accurately measure the customer experience of those undertaking the service:

  • 98% of people felt that their overall experience of the bereavement service was good
  • 98% were willing to recommend the service to others suffering a bereavement

The costs and benefits analysis of the Tell Us Once which found that the total cost of the implementation is expected to be around £ 111.03 million over 10 years, whereas the benefits on the same period are estimated to amount at £ 43.4 million. Although the TUO proved to originate higher costs than benefits, it has been included among the once-only principle best practices anyhow. This selection is based on the fact that TUO is part of eGovernment Strategy in the United Kingdom, aimed to make digital all communications and transactions between government and citizens. Therefore, the TUO impact should not be considered apart, but within the whole impact of the eGovernment Strategy.