28/02/2003

Agenda for NI e-government set out

The future shape of e-government in Northern Ireland has been laid out at the Modernising Government workshop held in Belfast this week.

At the event, organised by leading IT services company Newell & Budge, delegates addressed the challenges facing the public sector in the province as it strives to deliver the Northern Ireland Executive's target of achieving 100% of government services online.

In his keynote speech, Professor Des Vincent said that the Modernising Government agenda would not be achieved through a "big bang" approach – developing e-government would be more of an "evolution" than a revolution.

“Creating a joined-up government is not going to be an easy or cheap process, but there is no option," he said.

"The benefits in terms of social inclusion and making government services more accessible and effective will far exceed the level of work required."

He also said that good progress was being made in Northern Ireland and that e-government is providing an opportunity for the public sector in the province to be an exemplar in its application of modern Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to deliver customer focused services.

The event, hosted by Newell & Budge, was attended by over 50 guests from across public sector organisations in Northern Ireland and took place at the Europa Hotel in Belfast.

The company opened an office in Belfast last month and over 50% of its revenue comes from public sector work, with clients including the Northern Ireland Prison Service, the Scottish Executive and NHS Scotland.

(MB)

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