2005 target will be met

E-minister Douglas Alexander has denied the government is trapped in a "dotcom boom" timewarp after he promised MPs it would meet...

E-minister Douglas Alexander has denied the government is trapped in a "dotcom boom" timewarp after he promised MPs it would meet its target to have all public services online by 2005.

He told the Commons, "We are committed to ensuring that central government services are made available electronically by 2005 and that key services achieve high levels of use.

"The latest figures obtained during quarter four of 2002 show that 63% of services were e-enabled. Departments continue to work to meet the 2005 target."

But Tory MP George Osborne told Alexander, "In a recent written answer, the government was unable to tell me how much it had spent on websites in the past four years, yet the National Audit Office estimates the figure to be £1bn. The government appears to be the last organisation still living in the dotcom boom."

Alexander replied, "I simply do not recognise that description. To take a single example, about 500,000 visits to NHS Direct Online took place last month.

"That is a perfect example of how the government is modernising public services and using new technology to find challenging new solutions to meet the needs of the British public."

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