E-envoy Andrew Pinder has promised that local authorities will play a key role in efforts to get more people using online services after May's local elections.
Addressing delegates at the annual e-Government UK conference in London, this year entitled 'Access for All', Pinder explained that getting all services online was no longer the main aim, and that more comprehensive and useful sites would be the key to increasing take-up.
The targets set for 2005 were not the be all and end all, he added, but they were useful because "they give us a list of reasons why we should focus money and attention".
Pinder said that the number of citizens accessing services online is a priority, and promised that his department would step up its efforts to get more people using online services.
Local government would also play an important role in this task. "After the local elections, we will be talking to local authorities to get them involved in getting more people online," he said.
"We want you to make a big effort to make your services accessible to the right people in the local area."
Roland Mezulis, chief e-government strategist at West Sussex County Council, said it had been recognised that the target of having 100 per cent of services online for 2005 is not the best way to deliver value for money.
"Offering real services and using the technology to add convenience and value to citizens will increase take-up," he said.
According to Mezulis there is still fine-tuning to be done if take-up is to grow. Marketing must be stepped up and automatic online checks should be introduced to help citizens use online forms and other services, he added.
Separately Pinder joked to local authority delegates that success of the e-voting systems being used for the first time at the upcoming local elections was essential, or "we'll all be in trouble".
May's elections will see the first widespread use of e-voting, with 18 local councils and more than 1.5 million eligible citizens using various electronic methods to vote.
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