UK councils to set e-government standards

The UK government has invited local councils to tender for the right to develop model e-government initiatives in a proposal valued at £25m.

Between 15 and 20 councils are expected to be given the opportunity to set up as ‘e-government pathfinder authorities’, which are seen as role models for delivering government services electronically.

Local government minister Hilary Armstrong said in a joint letter with Local Government Association chairman Sir Jeremy Beecham: “Our aim is to identify between 15-20 pathfinders to develop e-government initiatives and to be a centre of expertise from which all local government can learn.”

The pathfinders are intended to make local services easily accessible to customers outside of normal working hours by means of PCs, digital television and WAP devices.

They are also supposed to provide citizens with access to the internet and email at their local library, to validate transactions such as online voting, and introduce smartcards for use on public transport and to purchase school meals.

Funding for the project will be boosted in 2002/3 and 2003/4 to £135m and £190m respectively. The closing date for expressions of interest is 5 March.

First published in Accountancy Age

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