Ministers for e-government from across Europe have agreed a joint declaration of aims to drive forward the use of IT to improve public services and boost the economy.
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The joint declaration was announced at the EU conference on transforming public services, hosted by the UK in Manchester. It sets out four key challenges for EU member governments, including working together on secure electronic identification for access to public services.
"Member governments should also build IT into policy design, public service delivery and information provision to actively include the disadvantaged,” the declaration said.
They should also identify services, such as e-procurement, that most benefit the freedom of movement of labour, services, goods and capital and use IT to improve the consumer experience of public services and cut the cost – especially to business – of dealing with government, said the declaration.
The declaration proposes that EU member states announce next year how they intend to meet these goals.
Cabinet Office minister Jim Murphy said, “This declaration sets out a new strategic direction for European e-government over the next five years, one that aims to include every citizen, business and government in the social and economic benefits IT-enabled public services can deliver.”