TechnologyAll set for e-government.

All set for e-government.

The Office of the e-Envoy has revealed exactly how it plans to get all government services online by 2005.

The e-delivery team – part of the office – plans to allow the public to book services by text and internet, but also wants to speed up communication between businesses and arms of government.

The EDT is responsible for the implementation and operation of projects initiated in the Office of the e-Envoy. One of its aims is to create an e-government infrastructure which can be re-used by government departments and, as a result, cut down on duplication.

Central to the plans – ultimately overseen by Andrew Pinder, e-envoy and one of the judges of this year’s Accountancy Age Awards for Excellence – is a series of different engines which departments can use to get their services online without building their own systems. For example, when used together the notification and appointments engines can provide a department with a way of scheduling appointments and alerting people through channels such as text and email.

The plan is to build a set of common components around a central transaction engine so departments can choose which they need and ignore those they don’t.

Once the components are in place the individual departments can connect their back-end systems.

For example, the ability to book hospital and doctor appointments will depend on NHS IT developments to put in place systems that will interact with the notification and appointments engines.

Departments are likely to move at different speeds depending on the amount of interaction they have with the public.

Currently, the Inland Revenue, Passport Service and Customs & Excise are seen as some of the fastest-moving departments.

Alan Mather, chief executive at the EDT, said the team has also developed server technology to allow companies to connect straight into the government gateway infrastructure.

Mather said local government will start to buy department interface server technology this year, with the private sector adopting it next year. He added that there are advantages for companies with as few as 50 staff.

He said: ‘The advantage is seamless two-way electronic communications. This is technology small companies could adopt.’

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