Whitehall softens 2005 e-gov targets

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has reduced the number of mandatory e-government targets local authorities have to meet...

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has reduced the number of mandatory e-government targets local authorities have to meet by 2005 in a new set of guidelines published last week.

The policy document sets 14 minimum requirements for e-government, including basic CRM, greater use of websites by the general public to support self-service outside office hours, and support for teleworking by local authority staff.

Other minimum requirements include establishing links to "live" systems for interactive journey planning, direct telephone or web-based access to information on all local authority services, and support for e-consultation. There is no requirement for e-voting.

Public sector IT directors' organisation Socitm has been one of several groups to call for more appropriate e-government deadlines. Glyn Evans, director of business solutions and IT at Birmingham Council, who chairs the Socitm Information Age Government group, welcomed the news. "What we have now is much more achievable," he said.

Evans said the paper from the ODPM would encourage politicians and local authority leaders to see the value of e-government in improving local government services.

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