work with local government to help them deliver all their public
services online by 2005.
which now goes out for consultation - sets out the way forward,
proposes the building blocks for e- government and outlines action at
national, regional and local levels.
Launching the document on a visit to Newham LBC,
local government minister Nick Raynsford said:
'The government is committed to improve public services and is
working with councils to deliver the high quality public services
that local people have the right to expect.
'E-government is all
central to this. It provides both the opportunity and the means to
put citizens and customers at the heart of everything councils do.
New technology offers councils huge opportunities - to transform the
way services are delivered and to re-engage their communities.
'Councils such as Newham recognise this. They are responding in very
practical ways and in doing so are helping develop our shared vision
for the implementation of e-government throughout the country. Our
target is that by 2005 all local services will be joined up in ways
that make sense to the customer; are accessible at times and places
most convenient to the customer and are delivered seamlessly; so that
customers can have their requests dealt with in one go.
'I am pleased by the evidence that local government is rising to the
challenge and that e-government is helping to change the face of
local government. Today's draft strategy takes the e-agenda another
step forward. It provides a shared central-local vision of local
e-government and a clear route map of what needs to be done
nationally, regionally and locally.
'The strategy is not just for local government. Effective local
service delivery can only be achieved in partnership with the NHS,
the police and local community and voluntary organisations. It will
also need the active support of private sector partners to develop
new products and new ways of working so that all councils can benefit
from leading edge technology.'
The joint strategy - between the government and the LGA - focuses upon three areas:
- A model of the building blocks of local e-government on which
local authorities and other public services can build and implement
their own strategies
- A national framework of standards, infrastructure, partnerships
and support structures
- A vision of local e-government which puts customers at the
heart of the design and delivery of local services
Jeremy Beecham, chair of the LGA, said:
'A willingness to exploit the potential of new technologies will be
vital for councils in meeting public expectations of high quality
public services and responding to the needs of local communities.
This consultation paper seeks the widest possible debate with all
those who manage and deliver public services on proposals for a
framework for local e-government, within which local innovation and
delivery can flourish.'
The strategy also sets out how the government proposes to target
additional resources of£165m - from the£350m earmarked to support
the 2005 target:
- Up to£80m over two years on additional national projects. They
include projects to develop the use of smart cards and integrated
back-office systems such as customer relations management (CRM),
e-procurement and projects to put priority services online
including planning applications, school applications, and council
tax and business rate valuations.
- Up to£75m over two years supporting the development of local
and regional partnerships between councils and other local service
providers such as the police and the health service;
- Up to£6m over two years on disseminating local pathfinder
solutions, and building capacity and support.
By 2005 the strategy envisages that all local services will be:
- Joined up in ways that make sense to the customer;
- Accessible at times and places most convenient to the customer.
Customers will have more choice over the way in which they contact
and receive public services: through interactive digital TV,
through personalised websites, using smartcards, through mobile
technology, over the telephone, or over the counter;
- Delivered or supported electronically, facilitating faster,
more reliable and better value services;
- Delivered jointly, where appropriate, through single outlets
whether they are hosted by local authorities, government
departments or agencies, voluntary or community organisations or
local facilities like shops or post offices
- Delivered seamlessly, so that customers only provide the
- Open and accountable so that information about the objectives,
standards and performance of local service providers will be freely
and easily available. This will mean that complaints can be dealt
with quickly and effectively. Also citizens will be able to
participate in local decision making in many ways, including online
discussion, live polls, webcasts, referenda and consultations.
Councils are already transforming services to:
- Make services more convenient - Manchester City Council tenants
can order repairs online at any time of day or night. Also over
400 people in Newham are able to access a range of local and
national services through their television set. The aim is to
increase this to 11,000 homes by 2003.
- Make services faster - Bradford's Homehunter service is a
choice based letting system provided over the internet that allows
residents to search for locally available social rented properties.
- Make services more cost-effective - Middlesbrough's partnership
with Hyder Business Services will deliver joined up electronic
services, whilst saving the council£2m per year. Liverpool's joint
venture with BT will invest£60m using new technology and working
practices to re-engineer the council's services around the needs of
the city's citizens.
- Improve customer satisfaction - Epsom & Ewell's call centre
enables 80% of calls to be dealt with immediately by the call
centre agent. Lost calls (where callers hang up without a
response) have been reduced to less than 5%.
- Promote economic regeneration - Cambridgeshire's contact centre
is being located in the north west of the county, to promote job
opportunities in an area that has suffered from agricultural
1. The government has set all public services, including local
government, the target of achieving 100% electronic service delivery
capability by 2005 and made available in the Spending Review 2000
£1bn across government over three years from 2000/01.
2. £350m was earmarked for the Local Government Online programme.
- £25m has been invested in a programme of 25 pathfinder projects
to develop a set of working e-government solutions and promote a
culture of shared learning which has involved over 100 councils.
Details of the pathfinder programme can be found here.
- Last December the government announced
that£160m will be provided to all local authorities in England
over the next two years to pump prime their implementing
e-government plans. This equates to£200,000 per authority in
2002/03, and a similar sum in 2003/04 subject to demonstration of
satisfactory progress against IEG plans.
- The draft strategy proposes that the remaining£165m will be
spent on a mix of support for national projects, local partnerships
delivering shared services and building capacity at a national and
regional level to help councils implement e.government. Partnership
funding will be announced in May, and specific support for other
projects as business plans are finalised and once the result of the
consultation exercise have been considered.
3. Copies of the consultation paper (and the accompanying summary)
are available here, or alternatively from
0870 1226 236. The consultation period ends on 28th June. The final
strategy document will be published later in the year.
A letterto local authority chief executives from the DTLR is available.
4. Beckton Globe was Newham's first local service centre - or one
stop shop, opened in June 1998. There are now nine local service
centres in the borough. The total number of visitors to those centres
from April 01 to March 02 was 602,668.
Welcoming the publication of the strategy, Newham LBC's chief executive Dave Burbage said:
'We are proud that this national strategy is being launched here.
Newham LBC is at the forefront of e-government work, where we
have a variety of electronic initiatives in place to provide a better
service to the community.'