The government has announced £10m to fund installation and running costs of the Government Connect secure extranet (GCSx) for local authorities.
GCSx is designed to provide secure data transfer between local authorities and central government – a key part of ministers’ Transformational Government strategy to improve public service delivery and cut costs through shared services.
The new money from the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Department for Work and Pensions is aimed at giving local authorities an incentive to sign up to the extranet scheme and putting it on a firm footing by March 2008.
It will pay for local councils to receive free connection to GCSx up to a maximum 2Mbyte line, free use of the GCSx line until March 2008 or a year from installation – whichever comes first – and anti-virus e-mail protection for the first 1,000 users per local authority.
DCLG minister Angela Smith said, “I want to see local authorities throughout England grasp this chance and engage with Government Connect.”
The success of the project “relies on everyone working together”, she added.