Headlines: June 21st, 2000

The pace of technology development in local government is increasing steadily. Recent unconnected announcements show a common thread of thinking rather than a concerted effort.The Planning Inspectorate are developing an e-commerce planning service with a 3m pounds award from the Capital Modernisation Fund. The system will make the handling of appeals and other casework more efficient by automating many manual processes and giving customers a more efficient service. It will link the Inspectorate with local planning authorities, Government Offices for the Regions, the National Assembly for Wales and other statutory bodies with planning interests.

Local Government Finance Division in the Department for the Environment Transport and Regions are examining options for replacing paper-based returns with an alternative electronic medium. They currently send out over 70 paper returns at varying intervals to more than 400 local authorities. The study is due to be completed by October 2000.

ITNET a leading suppliers of IT and business process services, with a significant share of the local government outsourcing market, has launched a package of services. ‘OneGov’ will provide new technologies such as extranets, kiosks and call centres as well as the migration from existing council systems. It also includes strategies for introducing and managing change.