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SURVEY FINDS LOCAL AUTHORITIES THINK E-GOVERNMENT AGENDA UNREALISTIC

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Findings from a recent survey conducted by research agency, ORC International, reveal that 76% of council officers ...
Findings from a recent survey conducted by research agency, ORC International, reveal that 76% of council officers interviewed feel that the government is being unrealistic about the resources needed for authorities to meet the e-government agenda. The Office of the e-Envoy has set authorities the target of making all government services available electronically by December 2005.

Just a third (36%) feel their authority has the resources to implement their e-government strategy, and when asked what assistance would support them in developing their strategy, the most common response was 'additional financial resources'.

When examining further issues that could affect their authority's ability to meet the target, more than half (53%) of the respondents believe that the exclusion of those who don't have IT access is a major barrier to achieving the vision.

And considering the impact e-government is likely to have on their council's relationship with residents, 93% of respondents believe that e-government will never replace the need for face-to-face interaction with local residents.

Mark Beauchamp, associate director of ORC International, commented:

'The survey has revealed that one of the key issues for meeting the e-government agenda is financial resources. So, it is crucial that authorities spend and are seen to be spending the resources that they do have effectively. It is clear that consultation with local residents is one way that councils can develop their e-government strategy to ensure it is addressing the needs of the community, and not just meeting a target'.

Notes

1. ORC International is a market research consultancy specialising in the field of public sector research, with more than 15 years' experience working with central government, local government and housing organisations.

2. The recent telephone survey questioned a representative sample of 100 e-government champions within councils in England.

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