The UK has slipped in the world e-government rankings, according to the latest research from IT services and consulting group Accenture.
In its sixth annual e-government survey, Accenture ranked the UK 10th out of 22 countries for 2004. In 2003, using slightly different methodology, the UK was placed in eighth position, a fall from sixth in 2002.
The findings will be disappointing to the government, which last week launched its Digital Britain strategy.
The strategy aims to transform public service around e-government and boasts advances in broadband internet penetration and digital TV in the UK.
Accenture measured the breadth of government services online as well as the depth of transactional capability, completeness of interaction and integration across government.
The survey showed that although the UK has relatively high internet use, hits on e-government services remain low compared to other countries with similar levels of internet use (see graph).
The research also revealed strong UK user satisfaction with electronic methods of e-government service delivery from those who had tried it.
"This year's research shows that governments cannot afford to invest all of their efforts and resources in developing the online channel alone to keep pace with citizen demand.
"The entire government organisation must become focused on delivering services that are tailored to the needs and circumstances of users, and are co-ordinated across the various channels of interaction," said Marty Cole, Accenture government operating group chief executive.