A lot of progress has been made, helped by the£26m Modernising Government Fund. There are 36 projects already underway, including West Lothian Connected and Access Glasgow, both championing the multi-agency approach.
Other examples include:
-Edinburgh City Council delivering improved services by working with private sector partners
-Dundee City council offering the ability to transact online with it through Dundee.com
-Using smartcards to target specific services and specific customer groups developed by both Aberdeen and the Young Scot scheme.
The Scottish Executive places great importance on the modernisation and improvement of public services - a huge challenge, but one that can bring great benefits and help fulfil its commitment to social justice.
The modernised public sector I want to see is one clearly designed from the viewpoint of the citizen and particularly focused on those who are most excluded, most vulnerable and most in need of our services.
The future will be marked by public bodies working together more progressively, offering a single access point to services but with a choice of routes into those services.
The objective must be to deliver services faster and make them more accessible and efficient. But indifferent services, delivered indifferently, are not improved simply by providing them electronically.
Technology can support and enhance service delivery, but real improvement in services will only come from the efforts of well-trained staff who embrace the citizen-focused service culture.
Our vision is clear, and gaining support across both the public and private sectors. We will continue to work with our partners to turn our vision into reality.
Deputy minister, finance & local government
The education department in Camden LBC will be turned inside out by the London Grid for Learning. Its resources, staff and systems will be seamlessly integrated into a network with our schools and partners.
In Camden, this digital brain will be used to create virtual communities for learning, create common interest groups and enable teachers to share ideas across London. It will revolutionise learning.
The grid will be up and running this year, providing a wealth of information and education tools to hundreds of schools throughout the capital, allowing them to share information in ways never before possible.
Potentially the network will have over one million users within the next two years.
The key to it all is classroom practice and pupil engagement. New technologies have the potential to link together sound, graphics and information in exciting ways. One of the main pieces of technology which will create this 'wow' factor is the interactive digital whiteboard. Whereas we once had big blackboards and chalk, we now have large white screens plugged into the internet in some of our schools.
Whiteboard technology allows children and teachers to engage with sound, text and graphics on a grander scale than ever before. It enables whole class participation without flooding rooms with computers and allows teachers to make a point in an exciting and interactive way.
Our trials indicate children and teachers are excited and enthused by the whiteboards which create a sense of theatre, participation and dramatisation. This kind of excitement is difficult to create with single computers or whole computer suites.
This virtual window will be linked to a Camden grid delivering interactive content over high speed networks. There is nothing worse for teachers and children using traditional networks than having to wait 20 minutes to download a presentation or have
the network grind to a halt at peak periods.
The grid has service delivery implications too. Instead of duplicating databases on some 50 sites at our schools, the education department will be able to deliver pupil information via a secure intranet, provide access to its asset management data and share documents and practice.
There will be strong electronic links between all schools in London with a common portal providing every child, teacher and education officer with access to teaching ideas, homework class assignments, and information on schools and pupils.
Head of IT, Camden LBC