Local e-gov is wonderful

Roll out those projects now

Local authorities will save around £320m a year by implementing the local e-government National Projects, according to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.

CapGemini conducted an analysis of six of the 22 projects. It concluded that as well as the cost savings, local authorities will increase total revenues by £60m per year, and deliver service improvements worth £1.3bn.

"The National Projects are designed by councils for councils, and allow managers to implement an existing and proven working model designed specifically to meet their needs," said Martin Scarfe, chair of the National Projects Communications Programme. "I strongly suggest that officers read these guides, summaries of which are being sent today to every English local authority."

The national projects were put in place to give local authorities some guidance as to how they should meet e-government targets. The idea was that councils should be able to access proven, standards-based products, services and implementation roadmaps with which to build e-services.

Projects include things like the DigitalTV scheme, whereby local authorities run an interactive digital TV channel to publish information, and run polls and so on; and local authority websites project, which set out to develop a suite of applications that would allow councils to make the most of the services the offer on their websites.

This way, any local authority that wants to deploy a particular technology should have simple guidelines to follow, rather than each of the 388 authorities having to start from scratch on everything.

Phil Hope MP, minister for Local e-Government, said the report "provides a credible advocacy for the National Projects to key decision-makers in local authorities". This, he argued, will provide local authorities with a clear path toward meeting the targets laid out in the Gershon review. ®

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