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UK e-gov 'needs shaking up'

Global report finds little change

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The UK has slipped one spot to ninth place in an annual global ranking of e-government maturity. Canada retains its place at the top of the table, with a "maturity rating*" of 80 per cent. Singapore and the US followed with 67 per cent each.

The report, produced by the consultancy firm Accenture, found that the UK's progress last year was limited. However, the fact that France is ahead of the UK for the first time should not concern Tony too greatly: the UK is the 'one to watch' next year.

Accenture identified a large number of maturing e-governments. As the existing services mature, the improvements made will be smaller, meaning that place rankings at the top of the table are not as important as they were in previous years, the report's authors said.

The authors also note that little has changed in the UK the last year, apart from a revamping of the government gateway. The hope for the UK hinges on expected personnel changes: Andrew Pinder, the UK government e-Envoy's official tenure in the post ended this April. He is caretaking the role for now, but the government expects to announce his replacement later this year, probably during the summer months.

Accenture suggests that the new appointee may shake things up a bit, and it expects "enhancements of a customer-focused citizen portal" and widespread promotion of the services to the general population will make the UK e-government programme one of the most interesting ones to watch in 2004.

You can access the full report here. ®

*This is a measure of how many of 206 services a government offers online, and they way the service is made available. For example, some points are given for publishing information online. If that service is interactive, i.e. Joe Public can contact the government and carry out transactions online, the government gets more points, and a higher maturity rating.

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