Local councils fear e-government failure

Technology firms must help by providing guidance on how best to put public services online

Many local councils fear that they will fail to achieve the goal of putting all their public services online by 2005, according to a report to be published on Thursday.

Research group Datamonitor has found that 36 percent of local authorities fear they won't hit the target, which was set by the British government and is meant to make it easier for citizens to access public services by putting them onto the Web.

According to Datamonitor's report, called Technology Opportunities in the UK Public Sector, some councils are struggling to put all their services on the Internet because they are also trying to cut back on spending and staffing.

A total of 92 percent of councils interviewed for the report said that adequate funding was crucial to achieving the target.

However, money isn't the only issue. Almost three-quarters of councils interviewed also cited guidance from IT firms as a key success factor.

"With many IT service providers adding staff in their public sector divisions, like EDS, IBM and Cisco, a host of relevant expertise is on offer," pointed out Kathleen Klasnic, Datamonitor analyst, in a statement.


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