Partnerships boost e-government hopes

Partnership schemes are key to helping local authorities meet the Government's electronic service agenda, claimed James Hehir,...

Partnership schemes are key to helping local authorities meet the Government's electronic service agenda, claimed James Hehir, the president of the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (Solace), this week.

Local partnership schemes could even form the basis of more extensive Government e-projects, said Hehir, who is also chief executive of Ipswich Borough Council.

"It makes more sense to get neighbouring authorities joined up and then look at regional context," he said.

Hehir confirmed that he plans to ask Solace branches to discuss the issue of inter-council e-government partnerships.

Analysts believe that councils could go one step further and share the software development costs of new projects.

Increased co-operation between local authorities is becoming acknowledged as one route to meeting the technological and financial challenges posed by the move towards e-government.

In March 2000 the Government announced the target of full electronic service delivery by 2005.

Last week, research from e-government specialist Kable warned that councils could face a funding shortfall of £1.78bn as they strive to meet the 2005 target.

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