E-government forgets local needs

Although there have been successes in central e-government services, such as NHS Direct and online tax returns, the government...

Although there have been successes in central e-government services, such as NHS Direct and online tax returns, the government has failed to recognise that 80% of transactions are local.

This has not been recognised in the advertisements for the new head of e-government's position.

To make cross-departmental delivery of services a success, the government first has to address the fact that so much data is held in different organisations and that people are being identified in different ways.

This is the outcome of services traditionally being delivered from separate silos. There are so many unique identifiers that we need to decide on one and rationalise around it. The tragic Victoria Climbie case and the proposed Children Bill have shown how many agencies must be able to share data.

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister needs to address some of the issues raised by Socitm over plans to define e-government priority services and outcomes. There is a requirement to understand that all local authorities have unique characteristics, and that this is the point of a local democracy. The needs of urban councils are different to those of rural ones and demography, ethnicity and levels of deprivation make a difference.

The ODPM has so far undermined the principle that local e-government should be concerned with local priorities. E-government is only meaningful to the citizen if the e-services are what they need, not what the government believes them to be.

Fahri Zihni is past president of Socitm
This was last published in June 2004

Read more on IT for government and public sector

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

SearchCIO

SearchSecurity

SearchNetworking

SearchDataCenter

SearchDataManagement

Close