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E-GOVERNMENT COSTS WILL SPIRAL

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Spending on e-government will rise by 25% or half a billion pounds this year as councils struggle to meet Whitehall...
Spending on e-government will rise by 25% or half a billion pounds this year as councils struggle to meet Whitehall IT targets, according to new figures.

The Society of IT Management found local government is planning to spend nearly £2.5bn on technology by the end of this financial year to meet the government's target of having all public services on line by 2005.

The figures were unveiled the week before the ODPM releases a report on progress towards the targets, which is expected to highlight those councils which are lagging.

Socitm's IT Trends report found that only half of councils are confident of meeting the targets and about 20% think it is unlikely they will.

However, IT Trends editor John Serle said virtually all councils now accept that technology can deliver big improvements in services.

Councils have demonstrated their commitment by doubling their capital investment in equipment, software and services, he said.

'Compared to our figures last year local authorities have grasped the fact that technology can make a massive difference to their performance,' he added.

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