I spend a fair amount of time trawling the New Zealand companies office website searching for the links and ties that make up modern business. Its a good site with plenty of information but a little difficult to navigate. The other day I came across this site which uses, I assume, the open nature of the companies office website to provide a super-quick and super-easy way of searching for director, shareholder and company information (go on give it a try – its very cool).
All of this is free, not just searching for company details but also updating those details, filing annual returns, changing shareholder details etc.
I recently had the misfortune of coming across the UK Companies House website and thought I’d compare how their document filing and register searching services worked. I clicked the link and was greeted by this;
You can’t be serious… this is the internet for God’s sake – it works 24 hours a day seven days a week. Unless of course the UK companies office database is sporting an integration with a series of Lamson tubes which need real live humans to operate there should be no need for the service to keep office hours.
And while we’re at it, let’s look at US Government openess and preparadness to make the boundaries a little proous. I read a recent article, cleverly titled Government 2.0 meets catch 22 and found this quote;
said one official of the Department of Homeland Security. “But we don’t
allow people to look at Facebook in the office. So we have to go home
to use it. I find this bizarre
So once again, from my somewhat biased perspective, I hold a New Zealand Government department up as a great example of how to build an open and accessible Government/Citizen relationship – nice work.