Headlines: May 3rd, 2001

E-Envoy Andrew Pinder has called on all those involved in ICT / IS in the public sector to think creatively about the delivery of services and ensure maximum benefit for the citizen. E-Government will change the way that citizens interact with Government. To get the best out of new technology means innovation, and not just automating what is there already. This innovation has to start within Government and extend to the relationship between Government and citizen.Technology allows services to be packaged in quite different ways to those based on paper systems and large and inflexible mainframe computers. Andrew Pinder urged that services be packaged in a tailored, customer focused fashion so that the businessperson or citizen is offered real benefits by transacting online, and as a consequence comes back to use more and more online services. He visualizes information age services blurring boundaries between layers of Government, departments, sectors and nations and developments being taken forward in partnership with the private sector.

Councils working in partnership with local communities and the private sector, as part of the pathfinder scheme are expected to become beacons of innovation, able to share experience and best practice. The aim of the 100 councils taking part in the scheme is to develop better, more accessible local services through new technology.

In central Government the Knowledge Network Project is changing the way in which officials in government are able to share information and knowledge with each other, work collaboratively and modernise the way they work. The Knowledge Network is helping to meet the daily needs of Ministers, officials and press offices to provide information about government policy to MPs, the media, businesses and the public. The type of information required includes details of statements and speeches made about policy, and facts and figures both supporting and questioning policy decisions. By the end of this month systems should be installed in departments and demonstrator projects launched.