Headlines: November 23rd, 1998

The DTI is to embark upon a two hundred million-pound public-private partnership to replace its computer systems.Peter Mandelson, Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, says the new system will enable the public, businesses and other government departments and agencies to exchange information and do business with the DTI ‘on-line’.

The project is called ELGAR – Electronic Government through Administrative Re-engineering – and will be supplied by a consortium led by ICL.

Mr Mandelson said: “In my first major speech as Secretary of State I set an ambitious target: that by the end of this Parliament, I wanted the UK to be globally recognised as the best environment in which to trade electronically.

“The planned transformation of the IT systems in my own department demonstrates clearly that the DTI will practise what it preaches. The Elgar contract will improve our exploitation of IT in general, in electronic commerce and knowledge management, and will speed up the introduction of genuinely electronic government. The public and business will be able to communicate more rapidly and interact more easily with DTI officials and obtain information and other services on-line.”

The ELGAR contract – due to be fully operation in time for the Millennium – is expected to be worth 15 to 20 million pounds per year over the next ten to fifteen years. During this period it is expected to provide savings of at least ten per cent compared with existing computer systems, but even greater benefits should result from the improvements in business processes.