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Government makes public-sector services online-only

Kathleen Hall

The government is to push ahead with its plans to migrate more public-sector services to online-only provision next month.

In June the government will implement its digital engagement strategy, with an emphasis on moving to online services and website decommissioning, according to a Cabinet Office business plan update.

The strategy is likely to be overseen by the Cabinet Office position of director of digital, announced last month.

But a spokeswoman from the Cabinet Office said there are no details yet of which services will be earmarked to go online-only.

This follows the government's move to make student loans, benefits and driving licence applications online-only.

The government stands to save a total of £1.3bn by moving one third of its services to online-only, said digital champion Martha Lane Fox.

New figures in the update also revealed the Cabinet Office spent £12.1m with third party suppliers on ICT in 2009/2010, spending an average of £3,664 on desktop costs per full-time employee.

The government has missed its April deadline to create Public Data Corporations (PDCs), designed to bring together public bodies and house datasets to be made available to the public and for commercial use. The PDCs are now estimated to be complete for December 2011.

But Bruce Mann, head of the Cabinet Office 's Civil Contingencies Secretariat, said the government was committed to opening datasets to the public.

"Where practical we will use evidence from data activists and other members of the public to maximise the value derived from this data and to assess whether the department has met its commitments," he added.


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