Government to scrap e-envoy role

Link: Whitehall IT strategy questioned

The current e-envoy, Andrew Pinder is set to leave the post next April when his contract expires. He will not be replaced.

Instead, a new head of e-government will be appointed to oversee public sector reforms, such as making services available online.

‘Their task will be to focus on ensuring that IT supports the business transformation of government itself,’ said Douglas Alexander, Cabinet Office minister in a statement.

Pinder, a former director of the Inland Revenue’s IT division, took the £130,000 a year job in January 2001, after a few months in temporary charge. He replaced the first e-Envoy, Alex Allen, who departed unexpectedly because of a family illness.

The e-Envoy’s role was initially envisaged to be the person responsible for driving the adoption of e-business throughout the UK.

In recent times however, the e-Envoy has been saddled with the near impossible task of ensuring that public sector bodies make their services accessible via the internet by 2005.

Pinder has also seen the influence of his department reduced and budget cuts of 20% biting, as the government sought to put funding into projects with a greater chance of success.

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