Headlines: October 24th, 2001

The UK has been ranked fifth in the world for its progress in implementing e-government. The ranking comes in a survey conducted by World Market Research Centre, which evaluated the services governments offer online.The UK trailed behind the US, which came in at number one, Taiwan at number two and Australia and Canada in third and fourth places respectively.

The survey investigated 2,288 websites against criteria that evaluated features such as information availability, service delivery, public access, online payments, portal access, disabled access and security features.

The Internet is viewed as an opportunity for governments to provide services and information more efficiently and cost effectively to citizens.

However, the survey found that across the world e-government is as yet falling short of its potential.Among the findings were that only six per cent of all websites have links to a government portal, only six percent of government sites reassure users with visible privacy policies, while only three percent have a public security policy.

There was also criticism that only 33 per cent of those websites inspected had a search facility, and only eight percent offered services that are fully executable online.

The World Market Research Centre provides business intelligence and risk analysis. Link: www.wmrc.com