Headlines: April 26th, 2000

UK Online, the gateway to Government services on the Internet, will be provided by BT. Testing of the new service will start in July and limited facilities will be available for public use from the autumn. A fully operational service will run from summer 2001.UK Online will be the first point of call for Internet users who want to make use of any central or local government service. They will be able to access the system through a personal computer, TV or mobile phone. Services currently available on the Internet include NHS Direct, consumer advice, Foreign Office advice for travellers and searches and returns to Companies House. Services due to become available later in the year include electronic filing of tax returns, VAT registration and returns, job vacancies and the Small Business Service.

Users of the gateway will be able to customise the home page to create direct links to the services they use frequently. The system will also be able to remind people about changes in service or important dates, such as the need to renew TV licences or car tax.

The project will be the focus of all public service developments on the Internet and the Project Board under the chairmanship of e-Envoy Alex Allen, will include representative of key stakeholder departments and local government.