Mike Simons & Bill Goodwin
The Government has hired a Webmaster general to spearhead a drive to improve the content and design of government Web sites.
Lucian Hudson, former head of programming at BBC Worldwide, will play a key role in Tony Blair's plans to put all government departments online by 2005.
"Hudson's appointment is a real coup for us. It further strengthens the Office of the E-envoy, which is now much better-placed than when I arrived," said e-envoy Alex Allan.
Hudson will take over as head of a newly formed E-communications division within the Cabinet Office, which will oversee the development of more than 1,000 government Web sites.
He will also take responsibility for the roll-out and development of a new government services portal, UK Online, which will be launched later this year. The appointment is part of a major reorganisation of the Government's e-commerce department by e-envoy Alex Allan .
A new e-government group, headed by Ann Steward, on secondment from the Australian civil service, has been formed to ensure that all government services are online by 2005.
In addition, an e-commerce group, led by civil servant Chris Parker, will co-ordinate policy across all government departments in a drive to put the UK at the centre of e-commerce.