Government smashes own online targets

Electronic delivery of services going well says government

The government claims Tuesday to have smashed its own targets for the delivery of services via the Internet.

The original target -- for 2002 -- was to have a quarter of government services delivered electronically, but the Cabinet Office claims that more than 40 percent are already available. By 2005 the government wants to see all government services delivered via the Net.

Cabinet Office minister Ian McCartney praised the progress being made to modernise government services. "There is much work still be done, but new technology is helping us turn public services inside out. For the first time they'll be organised around the convenience of the citizen -- from small businesses and young mothers to victims of crime -- rather than the bureaucracy of government," he said in a statement.

McCartney highlighted some of the recent Web initiatives from government including the UK online citizens' portal which went live after initial teething problems in December, and a site which allows people to inform government departments about a change of address.

The government is investing more than £1bn over the next three years to step up its electronic delivery drive. It is still searching for an e-envoy following the resignation of Alex Allan. Acting e-envoy Andrew Pinder claims one will be appointed within "two weeks".

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