UK gets first ‘webmaster general’

Hudson will be responsible for developing and enhancing the government’s websites across all departments, including its UK Online portal, and meeting the £1bn promise to deliver all government services online by 2005.

Reporting to the e-envoy, the government’s ambassador for e-commerce and e-business, Hudson has 17 years of journalism, branding and management experience.

He was previously editorial director at and Leader Intelligence, and has worked as head of programming for BBC Worldwide, the broadcaster’s commercial arm.

The new post will involve heading up the e-communications group, one of three departments within the office of the e-envoy.

‘There is a big job to do to make sure the government makes the most of the opportunities of the internet,’ said Hudson. ‘I look forward to working with departments, so we can make sure all websites match the standard of the very best. This is increasingly important as more and more government services become available online.’

Alex Allan finishes in the role of e-envoy at the end of the week, having resigned last month for family reasons.

Ann Steward, current e-government department head, Richard Barrington, e-envoy director of industry, Jim Norton, chairman at the Institute of Directors and Rene Carayol, former IT director at IPC Magazines, have been touted as replacements, with Steward a marginal favourite amongst pundits.

However, it may be at least November before a new e-envoy is appointed as the post is to be advertised in a national newspaper later this week.

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