30/08/2002

Local company welcomes e-government report

This week's report by the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee, highlighting the risk that the £10 billion being invested by Government in IT projects may be wasted unless more is done to encourage the public's use of online services, has been welcomed by a leading supplier of IT services to local government.

Peter McHugh, Business Development Director of Consilium Technologies, said that up until now the e-government agenda had been totally supply-side driven. However, it was at a point now where demand-side issues were becoming critical.

He added: "As far as local government is concerned, the public will expect to see a return on the more than £350 million invested in e-government by central government. The ultimate test will be the difference it makes to citizen's interactions with their local council. This will require effective strategies to encourage take-up and a shift in thinking if the many opportunities offered by e-government are to be realised."

Mr McHugh also endorsed the Committee's support for smaller firms being encouraged to compete for Government IT contacts.

He concluded: "It is reassuring that there is recognition by this influential group of MPs of the skills and innovation found in small and medium sized businesses which are not often replicated in large IT suppliers."

(MB)

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