E-gov leaks spark anger over ‘loans’

Leaks about the ratings awarded to local authorities’ plans for implementing electronic government have left many public sector IT managers outraged.

Now there is speculation that the Pounds 325m earmarked to help councils put their IEG statements into practice could be offered as credit facilities instead.

But a spokeswoman for the DTLR said: ‘The allocations for the Pounds 325m have yet to be agreed. The plan is to turn it into capital grants rather than credit approvals.’

About 80 councils are free of debt, so would not benefit in real terms.

Norman MacLeod, head of IT at Bromsgrove District Council, was bitter about the way the DTLR mishandled such a key stage in trying to meet the 2005 deadline.

‘These loans are news to me. We’re finding out from the press,’ he said.

To qualify for a share of the money, councils have to submit satisfactory plans by 7 November.

Glyn Evans, head of Camden Council’s IT department and chair of Socitm’s Information Age Government Group, said that if the DTLR provides the support it has promised, he is confident the deadline can be met.


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