The UK has dropped down the e-government rankings, as too few citizens use online services, according to an new report.
Consultant Accenture said to foster more use, government agencies should work with third parties to develop the services.
Steve Dempsey, e-government specialist at Accenture, suggested that services such as allowing car dealerships to complete some vehicle licensing details online, or accountants to file tax returns for their clients, would improve usage.
Initiatives such as two central secure portals - the Government Gateway and UKOnline - have laid the foundations for successful e-government, according to Dempsey. But the public has so far been largely apathetic.
Department of Trade and Industry figures indicate that only around one in 10 Britons with internet access have used government services online.
"User take-up of e-services lags behind their development, sometimes by as much as three years. To encourage use, people need to feel that there is something beneficial in doing so," said Dempsey.
Accenture's fourth annual e-government survey places the UK eighth in worldwide progress towards e-government, down two places from last year.
To provide the rankings the consultant tests for the online availability of 200 services for businesses and citizens.
Since last year, the UK has been overtaken by Finland and Hong Kong, while Canada remains "head and shoulders" above the competition.
"It is very clear that smaller countries find this easier," explained Dempsey. "It is not yet clear whether this is because they find it easier to have a central mandate imposed to move to e-government.
"Maybe it is just an order of magnitude easier to adopt the principles with a smaller population."
But progress has been made. Despite slipping down the rankings, the UK rated 16 per cent higher on Accenture's measurements of maturity of services than last year. The average improvement was eight per cent.
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