Headlines: June 19th, 2002

A new study reveals that the UK is among the leaders in the global rush to put local government services online.The report aims to provide a valuable tool in helping to share information about international progress in implementing e-government at the local level.

‘World View on Local e-Government Now’ is a joint effort between the Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA) for local government, and SOCITM, the society for IT managers in local government.

It confirms that implementing local e-government is a truly    global issue, with a willingness around the world to use the opportunity to radically transform government at the local level.

It also finds common problems and similar targets. One common driver is the existence of national targets. These targets for having services ‘on-line’ vary. In Australia it is 2001, in Japan it is 2003, in Hong Kong it is 90% by the end of 2003. In New Zealand the aim is that by 2004, the Internet will be the dominant means of enabling ready access to Government information, services and processes.

While the study shows the UK to be among the leaders in implementing local e-government, it also points to other countries showing the lead in parts of the project’s development:

* Germany is ahead on terms of authentication and legal framework

* Canada is excelling in terms of joining-up different tiers of government

* Singapore is ahead in terms of the availability of service on-line and its wider knowledge and digital economy strategies.

The UK’s strengths are:

* the breadth of engagement and ambition, for e-government which includes e-business, e-democracy and the wider   impact on the economy

* the creation of parts of a common national infrastructure for local delivery (Government gateway, UK Online)

* the provision of support networks and the sharing of information with local government

* a strategy and framework which brings together the national vision, nlocal progress and the interfaces with other sectors

The report can be found at www.socitm.gov.uk/public/socitm/idea.asp