Headlines: September 15th, 1999

The UK aims to have a higher percentage of total Government services
transacted through e-commerce networks than any other G7 country by 2002.
This is one of the goals set out in a strategy to make the UK the world’s
best environment for electronic commerce by the Performance and Innovation
Unit in the Cabinet Office.

The strategy document, ecommerce@its.best.uk, criticises government for not
fulfilling its potential vital role as purchaser and exemplar. It
identifies three main challenges that have to be met if the role is to be
played effectively. There is a need for a better understanding across
government of the opportunities presented by e-commerce and for a
recognition of the action that needs to be taken. Government and its
customers must be given access to facilities to allow full participation in
the Information Age. The third challenge is to improve trust. Government
needs to accept the new tools of e-commerce and new styles of doing
business. Similarly this trust is needed in businesses and individuals in
their dealings with government.

The strategy calls for stronger political and managerial leadership at the
centre of Government. In response Patricia Hewitt has been given
ministerial responsibility for co-ordinating strategy and driving forward
the UK’s objectives. Alex Allan has been appointed as e-envoy to spearhead
a marketing campaign and generate an e-commerce ‘buz’ across the UK.

Link: www.cabinet-office.gov.uk/innovation/1999/ecommerce/index.htm