Citizen Portal launched - UK population become Beta testers for UK Online

The online Citizen Portal, the UK site where the public can access government information and services on the Web, has finally...

The online Citizen Portal, the UK site where the public can access government information and services on the Web, has finally been launched.

The online Citizen Portal, the UK site where the public can access government information and services on the Web, has finally been launched.

Designed around "life events" and capable of personalisation, the site offers an impressive, citizen-centric link to information on more than 1,000 official Web sites.

The public unveiling of the portal has been delayed as the E-envoy's office and contractor BT Syntegra battled to get the product right.

UK Online is a beta site but interim e-envoy Andrew Pinder insisted it had not been pushed out to avoid embarrassment over delays. "We are putting it out as a beta because, at this stage, we need people's feedback," he said.

The site currently offers information services only but Pinder said transactional services would begin after the Government Gateway is unveiled in the first half of 2001.

Charles Lowe, head of government services at BT, said the site was scalable with an initial capacity of 10 times the maximum hits on the US government Web site.

To test it out go to: http://www.ukonline.gov.uk

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