UK's first e-envoy appointed

Tony Blair appointed Alex Allen as the UK's first e-envoy Monday. His brief: ensure Britain takes up the e-commerce challenge

The UK's first e-envoy, former civil servant and High Commissioner to Australia Alex Allen was appointed Monday by the Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Allen who starts his new job in January, will have a wide brief. His five main areas of responsibility are: galvanising British firms to take up the challenges of e-commerce, pushing forward the Modernising Government agenda, representing UK e-commerce interests internationally, working to ensure the benefits of e-commerce are available to all sectors of society and ensuring effective co-ordination between government departments.

Allen, who previously worked as Tony Blair's principle private secretary, will have a hotline direct to the Prime Minister and will work closely with new e-Minister Patricia Hewitt.

Rising to the challenge of his post, Allen reassured industry that government had learnt a valuable lesson on regulation. "It will be light-touch regulation, it is important not to put regulatory burdens on the industry," he said.