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E-GOVERNMENT:COUNCILS SET TO MEET 2005 TARGET AND DELIVER£1.2BN EFFICIENCY SAVINGS

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Local authorities in England expect to meet the target to be 100% e-enabled by the end of this year, local e-govern...
Local authorities in England expect to meet the target to be 100% e-enabled by the end of this year, local e-government minister Phil Hope announced today.

Speaking at a National Projects EXPO 2005 event in London, the minister also outlined that authorities expect to deliver£1.2bn in efficiency savings by 2007/08 directly as a result of e-government investment.

Additionally, councils were encouraged to utilise the local e-government national projects, which can help councils deliver service improvements and efficiency benefits.

Mr Hope said: 'The results from IEG4 show the good progress councils are making on e-government, and the potential efficiency gains arising from this work, supported by outputs from the national projects. The key is making it real - real life changes to the quality of life for ordinary people - people focussed outcomes.

'In over 100 councils, citizens can already go online to submit planning applications, check their council tax balance and calculate their benefits entitlement. Our challenge for the next twelve months is to drive through the full benefits of e-government to help build the efficient and effective local councils that our communities deserve.

'To this end, we will utilise the IEG4 results and a further mid-term assessment in July 2005 to frame and target requirements for further specialised support.'

Mr Hope outlined the results from December's Implementing Electronic Governmen (IEG4) returns based on a 100% response rate from local authorities. This shows that:

  • The average council is now 79% e-enabled and expects to meet the

    December 2005 target

  • Councils are overwhelmingly at 'amber' or 'green' for implementing ODPM's priority outcomes for local e-government, with more than three quarters of al l 'required' and 'good' priority outcomes now being actively implemented

  • 59 councils have self-referred themselves for additional IEG assistance from the IDeA's Implementation Support Unit (ISU)

    and on efficiency:

  • Efficiency gains overtake e-government expenditure in 2006/07

  • £121m efficiency gains in 2004/05 as a direct result of investment inlocal e-government, rising to£400m in 2007/08, with e-procurement leading the way

  • Total efficiency gains from investment in local e-government of

    £1.2bn from 2001/02 to 2007/08

    NOTES

    1. IEG4 is the fourth annual statement on Implementing Electronic Government submitted to ODPM by all local authorities in England. Analysis of these statements by ODPM provides the official measure of councils' progress on e-government. A summary is available here.

    2. For the first time this year, all local authorities were required to submit their IEG returns online. A 100% response rate was achieved.

    3. The e-government target for local authorities is to 100% e-enablement of services by December 2005, as measured by Best Value Performance Indicator (BVPI) 157. Within that target, to provide a focus for priority working, ODPM and local government developed Priority Outcomes which were issued in April 2004. There are 29 'Required' outcomes for delivery by December 2005 and 25 'Good' outcomes for delivery by March 2006.

    4. In order to facilitate timely support for struggling councils, the ODPM published a set of self-referral criteria in December 2004 to enable councils use their judgement as to whether a self-referral for support from the IDeA Implementation Support Unit (ISU) would be productive at this stage. The self-referral guidance indicated the threshold for local e-government priority outcome achievement to date below which ISU support may be appropriate. By the 14 January 2005 deadline for self-referral 59 local authorities had requested support - broadly in line with expectations.

    5. All local authorities in England will receive a final£150,000 IEG grant from the ODPM in the financial year 2005/06. ODPM will continue to monitor progress during the final year of its Local e-government programme. Local authorities will be asked to complete a mid year IEG statement with a submission deadline of 18 July 2005. After 2005/06, local e-government will be mainstreamed within the CPA assessment framework and within the Local: Vision strategy for local government and its daughter documents, including those issued for consultation on 31 January.

    6. ODPM continues to support the local e-government national projects, through funding for the Rollout, Dissemination and Sustainability (ROADS) programme during 2005/06. Further information about the Local e-Government National Projects can be found here.

    7. On efficiency, the local government target is to achieve, relative to 2004/5 baseline, total annual efficiency gains of at least£6.45bn by 2007/08. A technical note on this was issued 28 January. Around£1bn of the£1.2bn gains arising from e-government investment from 2001/02 to 2007/08 fall within the efficiency target period.

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