Steward is tipped to be next e-envoy



Cabinet Office director of e-government Ann Steward is tipped as Alex Allan's replacement as e-envoy.

Seasoned government watchers told Computer...



Cabinet Office director of e-government Ann Steward is tipped as Alex Allan's replacement as e-envoy.

Seasoned government watchers told Computer Weekly that Steward was emerging is a strong candidate for the position, which is vital to the Government achieving the ambitious targets on the UK Online agenda.

The Government hopes to find a new e-envoy by November and is to put the job out to open competition, although one insider said this was an impossibly short time-scale for that selection method.

Other sources close to the Government suggested that the sheer number of e-government issues isolated in the latest Performance and Innovation Unit report E.Gov indicate that whoever takes over the role from Allan would have to have a track record of making Whitehall deliver.

Jim Norton, director of e-commerce at the Institute of Directors, agreed. "The role requires business change skills and the ability to change the Civil Service," he said. "It is there to make the minister effective."

The climate within Whitehall for e-business has changed considerably for the better over the past year, according to departing e-envoy Allan. "People are much more receptive," he said.

Allan said he had expected to get around more internationally, to find out what other countries had been implementing e-business and e-government, but had only been able to make one major trip to the US.

He said he did not believe the job spec would need to be substantially changed for his successor.

Allan leaves the post of e-envoy after a year in office, truncated by his decision to resign for personal reasons.

Who'd be an e-envoy now?

Government online - key department dates

By End of 2000
Autumn 2000 - Development of UK Online citizen's portal, government secure intranet

By End of 2002

  • Spring 2001 - All higher education student support application forms online

  • Apr 2001 - Small business service online

  • Jan 2002 - VAT registration and returns online

  • Apr 2002 - Companies registration

  • Dec 2002 - Modernisation of Common Agricultural Policy payment systems for farmers

    By End of 2005

  • End 2005 - Driving agencies online - offering tax and vehicle licence renewals, driving test applications and links with car insurance databases

  • End 2005 - (from Apr 2002) - benefits applications online

  • End 2005 - Passport applications

  • End 2005 - Electronic conveyancing through Land Registry

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