Local authorities will be able to own technology or services they develop in partnership, the government has announced.
Products and services developed by the Local e-Government National Projects Unit will be offered directly to local authorities.
According to the Office for the Deputy Prime Minister, national projects in development include customer relationship management technology, digital TV, a framework for information sharing in a multi-agency environment, and using knowledge management technology for local authority websites.
National projects were designed to provide building blocks to help local authorities in England deliver local e-government services to the public, and are part of the government’s "build once, use often" strategy to save public money.
In the first instance, ownership of each national project will be offered to the current lead authority behind it.
Each lead authority will then decide if it wishes to share the service with any other members of the national project board or with existing or new commercial partners.
If a lead authority does not wish to continue responsibility for the ownership of a product or service, they will be offered to other councils and suitable bodies, including the Improvement and Development Agency, the lead authorities of the regional centres of excellence, other government departments or the private sector.
Any national project not taken up after this second ownership opportunity would be discontinued, said the Office for the Deputy Prime Minister.
Transfer of ownership will be completed by December 2005. Phil Hope, minister for local e-government said, "This policy should secure the roll-out of these products over the longer term, where there is a demonstrable need from local government for them to continue."