Headlines: March 18th, 2002

The e-Envoy believes that there should be an overarching local e-government strategy to give some cohesion to the strategies produced by local councils last summer. The Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions is being encouraged to draw up a strategy.The task of drawing the pieces of the jigsaw together and producing a coherent strategy is daunting. The 400 strategies produced by councils describe a wide variety of routes they are taking to put services online by 2005. The DTLR has its own strategy which sets out the ways in which Information and Communication Technology is being harnessed to deliver its objectives and targets and how it will take advantage of the opportunities. The Local Government White Paper describes ambitions to formulate agreed central local priorities for local service delivery and encourage community cohesion and leadership. The final pieces of the jigsaw are the priorities and programmes of the Office of the e-Envoy.

It is envisaged that the strategy, in addition to setting out a vision of local e-government, will also include plans for making effective use of existing and future funds. For local councils it will mean that the closer their strategies align with a national strategy, the more funds they are likely to receive from central government to boost their IT budgets.