Central and local government are coming together to pioneer a knowledge partnership as part of the development of the Government’s first ever knowledge management policy framework. Ealing Council will be given access to central government’s Knowledge Network to find out how the facts, figures and current issue briefings provided by the Network, can be used in local government. The Knowledge Network was launched in October 2000 and is currently available to around 55,000 users across the UK central government intranet.Access to the Knowledge Network coincides with Ealing’s introduction of a new information management system, following a substantial redesign of its website. The new system will allow the council to manage all their internal business systems, re-launch their Intranet and handle all the content for their new-look website. Ultimately, council staff will have quick and convenient access to information about other local authorities and central government.
The Knowledge Network is leading the world in enabling real-time knowledge sharing to take place between officials in all government departments. It allows information to be co-ordinated throughout central government, and enhances knowledge-sharing between central government and outside bodies. The information on the Network will ultimately be made available to the general public via the UK Online citizen portal. A Management Policy Framework document, setting out the way forward for the Network and including a report on the Ealing project, will be published by the Office of the e-Envoy in 2002.
As the pioneers forge ahead, a different picture emerges from a survey conducted at Government Computing Scotland 2001 by CMG Admiral. Findings revealed that while 95% of civil servants have Internet access at their desks and over half use a laptop and dial up networking, 84% still do not have access to electronic records, nor do they make use of supplementary document management systems. The majority of internal communications continued to be in the form of hard copy memos, notices or departmental briefings – despite the significant investment in PCs and Internet technology.
Links: www.cabinet-office.gov.uk/knowledgenet/default.htm <http://www.cabinet-office.gov.uk/knowledgenet/default.htm>