U.K. claims e-gov success

The United Kingdom says a five-year program aimed at putting local government services online is successful, with more than 97 percent of local services expected to be available online by the beginning of 2006.

The 97 percent success rate meets the central government's target set in March 2000 of offering all government services online by December 2005. The remaining three percent is because of legal or operational barriers.

Recent studies show that local government Web sites perform better than those in the private sector, said Jim Fitzpatrick, minister for local e-government. They exceeded the average performance of Web sites from randomly chosen FTSE 100 companies in terms of speed of response.

Local Web sites also achieved better than 99 percent availability.

"The challenge for local government now is to ensure that this valuable work continues and that innovation and focus on the need of local people continue to be at the hear of local e-government," Fitzpatrick said in a statement.

The British government is almost ready to launch a national campaign to raise public awareness about and use of the services accessible online.

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.

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