The plethora of legislation in e-business, with its duplications and contradictions, threatens to swamp users and suppliers alike.
But a new organisation emerging from supply chain standards organisation E-Centre will monitor the progress of 130 upcoming UK laws and EU directives which will impact IT users.
Geoff Petherick, commercial director of new body, the E-Business Regulatory Alliance, said, "The trade associations were looking at particular issues but not the whole picture. We needed a process-driven, more proactive environment."
The E-Business Regulatory Alliance, a not-for-profit organisation limited by guarantee, is working in four main areas:
- Information exchange to get upcoming legislation to the right people at the right time
- Networking to facilitate the exchange of information on upcoming legislation
- Lobbying through groups such as Eurim, the parliamentary industry body
- Identifying best practice, especially for small businesses.
The 130-plus items of upcoming legislation are grouped into seven broad areas including trade and commerce; data protection; crime and e-security; access to justice; intellectual property; telecoms; and e-government.
Petherick and his team are setting up working groups, chaired by legal experts, to track the legislation and act as watchdogs for the IT community.
The E-Business Regulatory Alliance will also set up two strategy groups which will consist of legal and technical experts, academics, users and suppliers.
The groups will examine where legal reform is needed, identify any duplication and, with the Law Society, put together a five- to 10-year strategy which will tackle any technological implications or impact on business. For example, a comparative opinion on the same legislation would be sought from human resources and IT departments.
The alliance includes Queen Mary's College and Bristol University and is working with Manchester University, the Law Society of Scotland and the National Computing Centre.