The UK ranks only eighth in Europe for providing sophisticated e-government services, according to a report from consulting firm Cap Gemini Ernst & Young.
The study of 18 countries, which was undertaken on behalf of the European Commission, revealed that the UK ranked behind countries such as Austria, Finland, Norway and France with a score of 71%.
The research also showed that the UK is now in sixth position for making public services fully available online with 50%, up from 33% in 2002 and 24% in 2001.
The findings will come as a blow to the government, which has a 2005 goal for getting all public services online and has stated that it wants the UK to be the best place in the world to do e-commerce.
However, the UK is at least heading in the right direction, after receiving scores of 62% in 2002 and 50% in 2001.
Stan Cozon, CGEY’s public sector global leader, said that European countries were making good e-government progress but warned that there is still room for improvement. The research found that, overall, only 45% of services across Europe are fully transactional online.
“Taking the measure of Europe’s progress on services fully available online the picture is pessimistic,” he said. “The EC will want to encourage member states to enhance the number of public services fully available online, particularly those aimed at citizens.”
CGEY’s study, which was undertaken late last year, surveyed online citizen and business services in the 15 European Union member countries, plus Norway, Iceland and Switzerland.
Sweden, Denmark and Ireland lead the field for online sophistication in public services, it said.