Minister calls for return to e-basics

e-Summit: Government must embrace the spirit of innovation and creativity of the early pioneers of the Internet, according to Douglas Alexander

The minister responsible for leading the take-up of electronic services within government departments has called for a return to the values and beliefs of the people who created the Internet.

Douglas Alexander, the minister of state responsible for e-transformation at the Cabinet Office, said on Tuesday that the government should not just concentrate on putting services online, but must also focus on increasing their use by the public.

"We must re-engineer around the needs of the citizen," Alexander told the e-Summit, which is taking place in London. "At its beginning, the Internet was a government-funded initiative, and to fulfil the potential of e-government we must embrace the spirit of innovation and creativity of the early pioneers of the Internet," Alexander said.

Also present at the e-Summit was Dr Ian Kearns, head of the Digital Society Programme at the Institute of Public Policy Research, who urged the government to do more to engage people in the creation and delivery of e-services.

"If e-government can be about broad and deep participation, then we should also use it to engage with people and draw them into the delivery of e-services," said Kearns.

The e-Summit will see the publication of an independent report into the performance of the UK's e-economy.

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