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Improvement and Development Agency director of e-government John Thornton's overview of the report*: ...
Improvement and Development Agency director of e-government John Thornton's overview of the report*:

The study, the first of its kind, confirms that implementing local

e-government is a truly global issue. The analysis reveals a real

willingness in all of the countries examined to radically transform

government at the local level.

In doing so, many of us are wrestling with common problems and similar

targets. In many ways the various agendas seem very familiar but differ in

the flavour of the approach taken.

One common driver is the existence of national targets. These targets for

having services 'on-line' vary. In Australia it is 2001, in Japan it is

2003, in Hong Kong it is 90% by the end of 2003. In New Zealand the aim is

that by 2004, the internet will be the dominant means of enabling ready

access to Government information, services and processes.

But, while national targets and prescriptions are playing their part, these

would be meaningless without the local innovation, creativity and

application seen in the case studies.

The important issue for all of us is to learn from these different

perspectives and experience of others - to understand what works and why.

The study is good news for the UK. We are amongst the leaders in the world

when it comes to local e-government. Other countries lead in certain areas,

for example:

* Germany in terms of authentication and legal framework

*Canada in terms of joining-up different tiers of government

* Singapore in terms of the availability of service online and its wider

knowledge and digital economy strategies.

However, in the UK our strengths are:

* the breadth of engagement and ambition, for e-government which includes

e-business, e-democracy and the wider impact on the economy.

* the creation of parts of a common national infrastructure for local

delivery (government gateway, NLIS, UK Online, NLPG)

* the provision of support networks and the sharing of information with

local government (eg the local e-champions network)

* a strategy and framework which brings together the national vision, local

progress and the interfaces with other sectors

This report is a valuable tool in helping to share information about

international progress in implementing e-government at the local level.

* The report is available here .

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