Headlines: October 13th, 2000

The IT systems of central and local government, the health service and non departmental public bodies will now have to use the same ‘standards’ hymn sheet to make sure they can talk to each other. For example they will all have to describe names and addresses in exactly the same way. The standards are set out in the e-Government Interoperability Framework (e-GIF) which is available at www.citu.gov.uk   The main feature of e-GIF, which it is expected will become the international standard for public services, is the adoption of the Internet and World Wide Web standards .The urgent need for standards was highlighted by the announcement that Valerie Shawcross, the recently appointed e-envoy for London, will start on the development of an e-strategy next month. The vision that the strategy will be expected to deliver is a London regional portal through which electronic services can be offered to the citizen. Delivery of the strategy will require that the IT systems of the Greater London Authority, 33 London boroughs, central government departments and health service organisations can all talk to each other.