Slowdown may hit Blair's e-government targets

Economic slowdown will make it an uphill struggle for the Government to meet Tony Blair's 2005 deadline for getting services...

Economic slowdown will make it an uphill struggle for the Government to meet Tony Blair's 2005 deadline for getting services online, according to a leading council IT manager.

Robin Carsberg, president of the Society of Information Technology Management (Soctim), said some services could miss the 2005 deadline. "I see considerable achievements being made by 2005 but in the current financial situation its impossible to say that all services will meet that deadline," he said.

Carsberg believes that local authorities may find it more difficult to obtain finance and investment over the next few years, so should keep a close eye on how money is spent implementing e-government. "There are never enough funds in local government so the key is using those funds wisely," he said.

He also identified the roll-out of broadband communications, a key element of e-government strategy, as a potential victim of any economic downturn.

However, according to Carsberg, local government will meet the overall challenge presented by a future downturn. "We are all at our best when resources are limited and we have to show that we are making every penny count," he said.

James Rogers
james.rogers@rbi.co.uk

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