Headlines: November 4th, 1998

A new forum of representatives from the private sector, IT industry associations and Government are to push forward the electronic government agenda.Public Service Minister Peter Kilfoyle said he and the Minister for the Cabinet Office, Dr Jack Cunningham, would be personally involved in the project, to ensure it stayed on track.

He made the announcement at the ‘25% and Beyond’ conference in London, organised by the Cabinet Office’s Central IT Unit on the anniversary of the target set by the Prime Minister that a quarter of the public’s dealings with Government could be done electronically by 2002.

Mr Kilfoyle said: “Our vision is of user-friendly, accessible and high-quality Government services available when and where people want them. Closer collaboration with the IT industry will help bring the benefits of the IT revolution to everyone.”

Projects already underway include the National Grid for Learning and University for Industry; the NHS superhighway and tele-medicine services; and Direct Access Government, the one-stop-shop service on the Internet.

The Minister added: “The Government does not see technology as an end in itself. Rather, it’s a means of delivering services in a seamless way. That means overcoming barriers between departments and other parts of the public sector to take account of the way people live their lives.”