Government appoints head techie

New Webmaster to improve government sites
Written by Jane Wakefield, Contributor

The government appointed a Webmaster General Monday as part of its drive to make the UK the e-commerce capital of Europe.

Lucian Hudson, a 40-year-old former BBC journalist, will join the e-envoy's team at the Cabinet Office. He will co-ordinate the work of the e-communications group which has been set up to improve the look and feel of government Web sites.

The government plans to put all government services online by 2005, although not all MPs are confident this target will be met. The problem has been exacerbated by the resignation of e-envoy Alex Allan, who leaves his post later this month to return to Australia.

Hudson though remains confident he can rise to the challenge. "I look forward to working with departments, so we can make sue all Web sites match the standard of the very best," he says in a statement.

The e-envoy's job will be advertised later this month. Possible candidates include head of e-policy at the Institute of directors and former government adviser Jim Norton. Last week Norton called for the resignation of BT chairman Sir Peter Bonfield.

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