Web site will help councils to meet targets

The Web site at the heart of the Government's national strategy for local e-government - www.localegov. gov.uk - launched last...

The Web site at the heart of the Government's national strategy for local e-government - www.localegov. gov.uk - launched last week by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, has been welcomed by the local authority IT director's group, Socitm.

Ernest Wardle, programme manager of the Society of ITManagement's (Socitm) Information Age Govern-ment group, urged council IT managers to visit the site.

"It will be an excellent source of information to help e-champions and local heads of ICT know where they are going." It is the first time that there has been a comprehensive roadmap for IT managers, he said.

The site provides policy information and guidance, best practice examples and model contracts and business cases for local authorities as they attempt to meet the Government's 2005 target for making services available electronically.

The first phase of the site introduces the e-model framework for councils, as well as tools with which local authorities can develop and build their own e-strategies. These include resource packs setting out strategies for transforming services, renewing local democracy and promoting local economic vitality.

Phase two is expected to enhance the core site with new features, including a document library and sections for "events" and "what's new".

The Web site, which was designed and developed by IT services giant Capita, forms part of what the Government is hailing as the "world's most comprehensive approach to implementing local e-government".

The strategy encompasses initiatives bringing together local and central government and the private sector, to develop national projects. According to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, projects have already been initiated to support online schools applications and admissions, smartcards and e-procurement.

The Government has pledged £675m by 2005/06 to support councils' infrastructure and capacity to deliver e-government.

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