Headlines: September 10th, 1997

Peter Kilfoyle, Minister for Public Service, announced the setting up a networking club for organisations providing public services electronically. The club, to be know as direct link will enable central and local government departments and voluntary agencies to share ideas and methods, get help with problems and find out what works well.

Peter Kilfoyle said: “The government is planning to provide many of its services electronically in the future. Many parts of central and local government are on a steep learning curve; this is an exciting time but there are some complex issues to be resolved. direct link will provide support for those trying to overcome difficulties and break new ground.” A number of pilot projects for testing the feasibility using of electronic systems are already in progress. A system operating in Broadclyst, Devon, allows villagers to calculate family credit eligibility and get information about may other benefits. It also provides an information service including bus and train timetables and parish council minutes. Sharing feedback from pilot projects will help designers to produce electronic facilities that better meet the needs of users.

direct.link will operate largely on-line with meetings held on an ad-hoc basis.

Organisations wishing to join direct link should write to Doug Kerry at

CITU, 1st floor, Hampton House, Albert Embankment, London SE1 7TJ

email: direct.link@citu.gov.uk