Abstracts: March 2nd, 2004

This annual survey of websites by the Society of Information Technology Management shows that local government is moving slowly towards the goal of providing services online by 2005 and some councils will not meet the target. Comparison of the detailed findings with the fourteen priority areas set by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister reveal shortfalls that cannot be made good by 2005.The survey found that only 23 council websites, representing 5% of the total, achieved the top classification by providing a full range of transactional services for users. Over 80% of sites provide information with some self service facilities. Some 12% of sites displaying only promotional material were placed in the bottom category.

Compared to the previous year’s survey one third of councils have moved up to a higher category. Seven councils moved up two categories. A comparison of the findings with the Comprehensive Performance Assessment results shows that top-tier excellent councils have website rankings that are 16% higher than the rest.

The report estimates that up to 5 million people visited local authority sites in December 2003. This is about 12% of the population.

Published by the Society of IT Management. http://.www.socitm.gov.uk