Matthew Burgess & Mike Simons
Pinder, acting e-envoy since the resignation of Alex Allen last October, won swift backing from the Confederation of British Industry and Institute of Directors.
Nigel Hickson, head of e-business at the CBI, said, "This is an excellent appointment. We hope he will promote UK plc as well as continuing to push for the culture changes that are necessary if the Government wants to conduct its services electronically."
Jim Norton, head of e-business policy at the Institute of Directors, and one of the contenders for the position when it was first announced in 1999, agreed. "Pinder has acquitted himself very well under difficult circumstances over the last four months and he is good with both public and private sectors. His experience in the Inland Revenue should also stand him in good stead. It may be fashionable to knock the Inland Revenue, but it is actually one of the better examples of e-enabling government departments - at least it has the guts to try."
Last December Alan Boxer, managing director of e centreUK, used the pages of Computer Weekly to express the concern of e-business leaders about delays in appointing the new e-envoy.
This week Boxer said he was delighted that Pinder had been confirmed in the job. However, he also expressed concern that the e-envoy would be too focused on delivering e-government.
"We desperately need the e-envoy and his team to get out amongst industry, to celebrate UK's e-business successes," said Boxer.