The Office of the E-Envoy has awarded a £1.2m, three-year contract to the National Computing Centre to run the service, which will assess the ability of suppliers and government bodies to comply with the Electronic Government Interoperability Framework (e-Gif).
The accreditation programme will make it easier for local authorities and other government bodies to identify suppliers qualified to deliver systems compatible with e-Gif, which is mand- atory across Whitehall.
Bob Griffiths, international secretary of local government IT directors' group Socitm, welcomed the move. "If we can see whether the various suppliers of software conform to e-Gif, that would be very helpful," he said.
The framework is a set of eight standards introduced by the Office of the E-Envoy to allow local and central government bodies to interact electronically.
Under the programme, the NCC will assess whether a supplier's products are compatible with the latest e-Gif standards, which are updated twice a year, and whether its staff are qualified to implement the framework.
The NCC also plans to offer e-Gif certification for IT employees and e-Gif accreditation for government organisations.