Bell will focus on implementation of e-government strategy. The e-envoy's department told CW360.com: "Nigel will bring his knowledge and skills to initially look at the e-government aspects of three of the four government delivery priorities; education, transport and crime."
In the short term Bell will not look at the government's fourth priority area - the health service.
Bell's appointment could signal a shift in the priorities of the e-envoy's department, with the initial evangelistic role being replaced by a more down-to-earth emphasis on delivery.
Government departments have completed statements on their plans and progress towards prime minister Tony Blair's 2005 e-government target.
"I hope to help them deliver on the plans they have outlined," Bell told CW360.com. "There is some good work going on and I hope to help work out what can be done to accelerate its delivery - perhaps by breaking down large projects into smaller components."
During his two years as head of the NHS Information Authority, Bell fought to rescue the troubled NHSnet project and pushed through the creation of NHS.UK, a portal for NHS practitioners.