Abstracts: March 7th, 2005

This seventh annual survey of 468 local council websites from the Society of IT Management shows steady improvement in the content and usability of sites, but no evidence of a surge to meet the 2005 targets for 100% electronic service delivery. The results of this year’s survey show that 15 sites achieved the top rating of a ‘transactional’ site, bringing the total in this category to 38. There is a steady movement out of the lowest category of ‘promotional’ site, with 33 sites moving up a category. Overall there was a net increase of 128 sites moving up a category, compared with 146 in 2004.There is a new focus on usability and usage and this is a response to the Efficiency Review and the new requirement to achieve a 2.5% per annum efficiency gain over the next three years. A major slice of efficiency gains in the future is likely to come from transferring activity from person to person in a front office or by phone to self-service via the council website. To achieve this shift, 90% of councils sites will have to move up into the ‘transactional’ category.

The Survey is available from the Society of IT management at www.socitm.gov.uk

The cost for non-members of the Society is 350 pounds.