Headlines: November 2nd, 1998

The Government’s central IT unit (CITU) is holding a major conference in London today (Monday) and tomorrow, at a time when some in the public sector fear the challenge of delivering more and more services electronically might be losing momentum.In October last year the Prime Minister predicted that a quarter of people’s dealings with government would be done electronically, through television, phone or computer.

Since then there has been concern raised that the cost of equipment to achieve that change might be a deterrent. Among those concerned is SOCITM, which speaks for IT managers in local government, and which has written to John Prescott urging him to make sure IT in the public sector is not marginalised through lack of investment.

‘25% and Beyond’ is at the QEII Conference Centre in London and aims to help provide public sector organisations with practical guidance for realising the Prime Minister’s prediction.

Delegates will discuss the findings of market research into the propensity of the citizen and business to use electronic services, an update on where government departments and their agencies are in achieving the 25% target, a view on future developments and the variety of delivery channels and mechanisms government may use to achieve the results

CITU was set up in November 1995. Its remit is to advise ministers on the development of their strategy for the use of IT by Government. Its website is at www.citu.gov.uk.