The e-Government National Awardsare a yardstick for UK excellence in e-Government - and highlights the massive benefits to the UK of services like Directgov, online vehicle licensing, school pupil e-assessment at Key stage 3, and numerous council e-services improving lives in localities across the UK
Departments have access to a cost effective set of systems for supporting new/more efficient ways of working - helping with the delivery of better and more available services for citizens. With the last of the County's mainframes being switched off in April 2005 Hampshire CC now has a highly efficient infrastructure to deliver effective high availability services.
The thin client technology employed has made supporting and upgrading applications on thousands of desktops in hundreds of locations far less expensive and time-consuming.
e-Government is a prime enabler for transformation of the way that central and local Government interact and communicate with UK Citizens and local authorities were 97% e-enabled by the start of the year.
Councils, central government departments, non-departmental public bodies and National e-Government Projects are all among the Finalists - showing a great diversity and spread of achievement in e-Government right across the UK.
Jim Murphy MP, Parliamentary Secretary at the Cabinet Office said:
'e-Government is one of the most important ways the Government can deliver public services reform. We are committed to developing Government IT systems and services that make real and tangible improvements to the lives of British people and businesses. The e-Government National Awards are our way to recognise the best attempts to deliver on this commitment.'
Jim Fitzpatrick MP - Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the
Office of the Deputy Prime Minister said:
'I'm delighted to see so many councils entering the e-Government National Awards. Local e-government has made enormous progress over the last five years, and this is shown by the number and high quality of the bids. '
Ian Watmore, Head of the Prime Minister's deliver Unit - and formerly Government CIO and head of e-Government at the Cabinet Office, said:
'The Cabinet Office e-Government Unit is proud to support the e-Government National Awards'.
'For many government organisations, technology has fundamentally changed their relationship with citizens and businesses. Beyond putting services online this is the future of technology in Government - using IT to enable a wider transformation of the way Government works. There are many innovative services being provided across the public sector which very often don't get the publicity and reward that they deserve. I hope that these awards can play a part in addressing that.'
'e-Government is a key tool in service transformation for central departments and local authorities - and will impact on the lives of all UK citizens', says Christopher Histed, founder of the e-Government National Awards and its organiser PublicTechnology.net, the online news source for the e-Government & public sector IT community.
The Government recently published its IT strategy, 'Transformational Government' - which promises a wide-ranging plan to transform and improve UK public services via IT and e-Government.
The government IT strategy has three key points:
1) Services enabled by IT must be designed around the citizen or business, not the provider, and provided through modern, co-ordinated delivery channels. This will improve the customer experience, achieve better policy outcomes, reduce paperwork burdens and improve efficiency by reducing duplication and routine processing, leveraging delivery capacity and streamlining processes.
2) Government must move to a shared services culture - in the front-office, in the back-office, in information and in infrastructure - and release efficiencies by standardisation, simplification and sharing.
3) There must be broadening and deepening of government's professionalism in terms of the planning, delivery, management, skills and governance of IT enabled change. This will result in more successful outcomes; fewer costly delivery failures; and increased confidence by citizens and politicians in the delivery of change by the public services.
The Prime Minister commissioned the strategy to seize the opportunity provided by technology to transform the business of government. Technology has a major part to play in the solutions to each of three major challenges which globalisation is setting modern governments - economic productivity, social justice and public service reform. Only a strategic view will enable the United Kingdom to use technology decisively and effectively across government to meet its national objectives.
In particular, the strategy was directed to provide overall technology leadership in three key areas:
* The transformation of public services for the benefit of citizens, businesses, taxpayers and front-line staff.
* The efficiency of the corporate services and infrastructure of government organisations, thus freeing resources for the front-line.
* The steps necessary to achieve the effective delivery of technology for government.
1. The e-Government Unit (eGU) in the Cabinet Office has been tasked by the Prime Minister to 'ensure that IT supports the business transformation of Government itself so that we can provide better, more efficient, public services.'
2. The e-Government Unit (eGU) in the Cabinet Office are responsible for;
a. formulating information technology (IT) strategy and policy
b. developing common IT components for use across government
c. promoting best practice across government
d. delivering citizen-centred online services