11/02/2002

Consilium Technologies survey e-Government progress

Software solutions company Consilium Technologies have completed their detailed study of the progress being made towards establishing the e-Government infrastructure in the UK's 280 councils.

According to the Consilium Technologies study of the Implementing e-Government (IEG) and Scottish Government Action Plans (GAP) recently submitted by councils throughout the UK, partnership is seen to be the key to a successful e-Government strategy. The government has stated that it will give first allocation of the £350 million central government fund to such partnership projects.

The Consilium Guide to council IEG statements looked at how local authorities have approached the IEG programme, and in particular which technologies they plan to invest in.

Peter McHugh, group business development director for Consilium Technologies, said: “As expected, funding appears to be one of the critical influences behind an organisation’s e-agenda, and as such it is evident that larger local authorities are much better positioned to implement more costly e-Government programmes. However, in saying that, the amount of available resources is not reflected in the quality of a council’s IEG statement, with many smaller authorities producing excellent plans."

Significantly, the guide concludes that on the whole, local government is exceeding central government targets. On average councils have e-enabled 27 per cent of services, compared to the government’s target of 25 per cent by 2002.

Most councils also expressed similar concerns over their e-Government programmes, citing lack of resources and staff, as well as an absence of awareness or commitment among more senior council staff as factors that could undermine the success of their e-agenda.

Mr McHugh added: “Besides funding, it is clear that across local government, the scarcity of IT resources and skills is of major concern. It is vital that local government receives the backing it needs to ensure that e-government projects can be implemented completely and successfully.”

Consilium Technologies, www.consiliumtechnologies.com

(GMcG)

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