UK. Local e-government transforms the provision of local services for the 21st century
The provision of local services has been transformed as local authorities will be over 97% e-enabled by the turn of the year, Minister for local e-government, Jim Fitzpatrick, has announced.
ODPM News Release 2005/0284

22 December 2005

The local e-Government programme - a partnership between councils and ODPM - has now been running for five years and seen major changes to the face, quality and accessibility of services through the application of effective technology.

Residents can now access services and information at any time – even on Christmas Day! - as councils have now moved to a twenty-four-seven culture.

The transformation has been realised to such an extent that recent research shows that local authority websites beat FTSE 100 company sites on average download speeds and availability.

Minister for local e-government, Jim Fitzpatrick, said:

“Over the last five years Local Government has taken up the challenge to transform the way that citizens are able to access the services. It is very satisfying that e-enablement targets have now been reached.

“This is a success story and recent research bears out this transformation. After randomly selecting 10 of the best known names across multiple industry sectors in the FTSE 100, we pitted their performance against a range of local authorities across the country. On average, local authorities came out on top in terms of the speed of their websites - and achieved over 99% availability figures.

“The challenge for local government now is to ensure that this valuable work continues and that innovation and focus on the needs of local people continue to be at the heart of local e-government.”

This marks a significant success story for local e-Government which offers innovation and effective service delivery. Now that the local authorities are e-enabled, the next challenge is to raise awareness even further of the new services available.

A national campaign designed to raise public awareness and encourage take-up was announced last month by Mr Fitzpatrick. The campaign will launch in early 2006 and will highlight the benefits of accessing council services online - including flexibility and convenience, and improved access to information.


Notes to Editors

1. This month's Implementing Electronic Government (IEG) returns show that the average local authority is now 97% e-enabled based upon returns from all authorities in England. The residual 3% is accounted for by legal or operational barriers to e-enablement, allowed within the definition of Best Value Performance Indicator 157 (which measures local authority performance against the 2005 target). Local authorities also identify £1.1 billion efficiency gains from investment in Local e-Government from 2004/05 to 2007/08.

2. In March 2000, the Prime Minister and members of the Cabinet agreed a new target of offering all Government services online by December 2005. The outline of the Local e-Government Programme was first presented in the DTLR's "Modern Councils, Modern Services: Access for All" paper published in 2001. To date, every local authority in England has been supported with £0.9m in IEG capital funding to help them meet the 2005 target.

3. A copy of the performance survey of local authority websites commissioned from Site Confidence can be downloaded at www.localegov.gov.uk/ieg.


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