Difficult Forms: How government agencies interact with citizens

Oct 2003

Dunleavy, P., Margetts, H., Bastow, S., Bou├žek, F., & Campbell, R. (2003) Difficult Forms: How government agencies interact with citizens. National Audit Office Report by the Comptroller and Auditor General, HC 1145 Session 2002-2003, 31 October.

We were commissioned by the UK National Audit Office to produce a value for money report looking at the design and ease of use of government administrative forms that are commonly filled in by citizens. Full report can be downloaded here plus supplementary material from focus groups and a government-wide census of forms.

Guidance and tips for people working in government departments and public sector agencies with responsibility for forms filled in by customers or citizens, see file below:

Improving and reviewing government forms - a practical guide (312kb/PDF)

To view the contents of the Difficult Forms report, please use the links below:

Full Report1.31 MB
Preface421.64 KB
Executive Summary1.78 MB
Part 1 - Why central government uses forms472.48 KB
Part 2 - How agencies design and manage their forms709.67 KB
Part 3 - How our focus groups viewed the case study forms238.97 KB
Annexes127.76 KB
Supplementary form survey results66.29 KB
Report on Ten Focus Groups229.46 KB


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