Socitm calls for clarity on e-gov funding

Local government IT managers' organisation Socitm has called for greater clarity in the latest round of the e-government funding...

Local government IT managers' organisation Socitm has called for greater clarity in the latest round of the e-government funding process for local authorities.

Earlier this year the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister published a consultation paper on how councils should complete their implementing electronic government statements, which are crucial to receiving e-government funding.

IEG statements are effectively corporate plans outlining how local councils are approaching the task of e-enabling service delivery. Councils submitting successful statements in 2001 and 2002 each received a total of £400,000 worth of funding to help them implement their e-government plans.

With the deadline for comments ending last week, Socitm welcomed the government's proposed approach of using a questionnaire that councils could fill in. But the society called for this to be made easier to understand.

Kate Mountain, Soctim's chief executive, said, "We are pleased that this year's IEG process looks like it will be more manageable than in previous years, but we think it could still be better, clearer, more understandable and easier to draw comparisons."

The society warned that a significant number of terms and headings used within the draft IEG form are likely to cause confusion.

A spokeswoman for the ODPM confirmed that the department will be considering Socitm's response. "We welcome Socitm's contribution to the debate, especially the fact that they have run workshops to discuss the issues," she said.

Government officials said details about the funding levels for the latest IEG round will be made public when the final guidance for councils is published later this month.

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