The UK is doing well when it comes to e-government services, according to consultants at Capgemini.
The services firm said in the latest Benchmark Measurement of European eGovernment Services that the UK still has some way to go on the global stage, but had achieved a ranking of fourth place in terms of the online availability of government services.
The UK lagged behind Austria, Malta and Portugal, but is ahead of Sweden and Slovenia. However, although the UK government is doing well in providing the services, citizens are not necessarily embracing them with the same fervour.
Capgemini said that governments need to create services that are appealing and engaging, while staying within fairly constrictive budgets.
"The short-term economic crisis will result in long-term budget challenges. Aspirations of 'better for less' are just not good enough," said Graham Colclough, vice president for the global public sector at Capgemini.
"It would not be impossible to deliver services that are twice as good in half the time for half as much. Global trends tell us that this is what citizens are demanding, even as the pressure of budgetary constraints continues to be felt, but technology can play a major role in achieving this."
Capgemini explained that EU countries are at risk of not hitting important targets, like the Manchester eProcurement Declaration and the EU Services Directive, and should not risk falling behind some of the leading nations in terms of how they interact with citizens.
"Financial constraints need not restrict the delivery of e-government. These technologies are more important than ever for delivering efficient public services across Europe," the report said.
Governments should focus on engaging citizens with personalisation and a multi-channel approach, along with the adoption of social networking-type sites and Web 2.0 features, it said.
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