The UK Government Gateway, launched in January, was demonstrated in Seattle to an audience of 400 government officials from 80 countries to show how citizens and businesses can interact with government over the Internet. The demonstration was presented by e-Envoy Andrew Pinder, and Bill Gates, Microsoft’s co-founder and chairman.Electronic transactions from the Inland Revenue, HM Customs and Excise and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food will begin to arrive at the Gateway during April. Other organizations planning to put services into the Gateway in the near future include the Department of Social Security, Department of Trade and Industry, the Northern Ireland and Scottish Executives and the Welsh Assembly. The Gateway will be rolled out through about 200 central government departments and agencies and 482 local government institutions over the next five years in the drive to have all of the government online by 2005.
The two key features of the Gateway are secure transaction technology which provides a reliable authentification service and the facility to link the Internet portal to a wide variety of ageing legacy systems. It is because of this link that information, perhaps about a business start-up, can be relayed to all the public bodies that need to know.
There are plans for the UK government and Microsoft to sell the on line transaction system around the world.