Third of local authorities are email black holes

19th July 2006, Comments 0 comments

19 July 2006, AMSTERDAM — Over a third of local authorities in the Netherlands failed to reply to a simple email, according to consultancy Webdam. The number of non-responsive municipalities was higher than in 2005.

19 July 2006

AMSTERDAM — Over a third of local authorities in the Netherlands failed to reply to a simple email, according to consultancy Webdam. The number of non-responsive municipalities was higher than in 2005. 

In May 2005, just under 60 percent of the offices replied to Webdam's question within a day. This fell to 35 percent this year, and 37.1 percent did not reply at all. Only 20 percent of municipalities ignored the email question last year, newspaper 'De Telegraaf' reported. 

Webdam has evaluated municipal websites since 2000 and compiled a list of the top 50 to encourage local authorities to improve their electronic services. Since 2003, local authorities have also been judged on what they do with their websites, specifically how efficiently they answer questions posed by members of the public.

The email sent by Webdam asked the following in Dutch: "I want to put a swimming pool in my garden. Do I need a permit for this? If so, what do I need to do to get it?"

The email concluded with "thanks in advance for your reply".

Webdam used the following assessment categories: replies the same day, or within 2, 3, 4 and 5 work days, between 6 to 8 work days, and longer than 8 work days. Whether the local authority sent an acknowledgement of receipt of the email was also noted.

In total 62.9 percent answered within 8 working days, leaving 37.1 percent that didn't reply at all. Only 14.3 percent sent Webdam an acknowledgement on receipt of the email. It wasn't immediately clear from Webdam's report what the correct answer to its question is. 

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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