Headlines: April 9th, 2002

The Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions wants comments on a draft e-Government strategy which seeks to bring together services provided by councils, the health service, police and local community and voluntary organizations. See Publicnet Briefing 18 March 2002 – Call for Local e-Government Strategy. It sets out a vision of all services available on-line by 2005, describes the building blocks for delivering e-government and outlines a route map of what needs to be done nationally, regionally and locally.The draft strategy draws on the 400 strategies produced by councils last summer. At the heart of the draft is a framework for joining up services in a way that makes sense to the customer. Customers will have more choice over the way in which they contact and receive public services. These will include interactive Digital TV, personalised websites, smartcards, mobile technology, telephone, as well as over the counter. The draft strategy sets clear guidelines for delivering services jointly through single outlets whether they are hosted by local authorities, government departments or agencies, voluntary or community organisations or local facilities like shops or post offices. Services will be delivered seamlessly so that customers only provide the information once. The draft also makes provision for citizens to participate in local decision making in many ways, including online discussion, live polls, webcasts, referenda and consultations.

The draft recognizes that the active support of private sector partners will be needed to develop new products and new ways of working so that all councils can benefit from leading edge technology.

The consultation period ends on 28th June. The final strategy document will be published later in the year.

Copies of the consultation paper are available from http://www.local-regions.dtlr.gov.uk/consult/egov/index.htm