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OECD places UK third for European e-government

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Britain has some of the most sophisticated e-government services in Europe but lags behind other countries in take-up, according to the OECD.

The relevant section of Government at a Glance 2009, published by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, shows the UK comes third behind Austria and Portugal in the sophistication of its e-services, and is in a similar position for their full online capability.

In both cases it scored 0.9 against a maximum of 1.0, based on the maturity of 12 citizen oriented and eight business oriented government services.

The national portal also scored highly at 0.9, second only to the Netherlands, although the report does not state if this combined the roles of Directgov and Businesslink.

When it comes to take-up, however, the UK comes in at 11th for the percentage of citizens using online services, with 32%, and 20th for business with 64%. The report relates the citizen figure to broadband penetration, in which the UK is behind other northern European countries in the number of subscriptions per 100 inhabitants. It says this is a common factor in determining the level of citizen take-up.

It adds that the business figure is higher throughout Europe because governments can require companies to use digital communications.

The report covers the performance of 23 European countries. It says that providing e-services often requires governments to standardise internal processes and data in order to integrate back office functions. But some face legal or regulatory constraints in data sharing which hinders efforts to develop services.

This article was originally published at Kable.

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