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Government to shape up e-policy

E-envoy Alex Allan, proposes saving the taxpayer millions of pounds and bringing more services online

In response to criticism, the government announced it will improve e-government services.

Speaking at a National Audit Office (NAO) seminar in London Monday, e-envoy Alex Allan claimed he is determined to push through digital policy at the highest level. It follows an NAO report which accused the government of wasting millions in taxpayers' money by inefficient use of the Web.

As part of the plan to wire Whitehall, Allan proposes to improve design and navigation of government sites, bring more services online. He will also attempt to change the mindset of civil servants opposed to the Internet. A new media team is being set up to co-ordinate the changes.

In a statement Allan, claimed he is determined to "drag the senior civil service and government services squarely into the 21st century". "We can save the taxpayer millions of pounds as well as revolutionise the convenience and accessibility of public services," he said. "By the end of the year people will be able to fill in tax forms, job hunt and get legal advice online."

Shadow technology minister Alan Duncan remains unimpressed. "When it comes to e-government, Labour hasn't got a clue and IT projects instigated by them normally collapse in disarray," he said. "We want to see real improvement in the way the government uses IT to connect people directly to government and reduce bureaucracy."

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