Only two per cent of local authority websites are transactional, according to a new survey by the Society of Information Technology Management (Socitm).
The organisation's Better Connected 2003 survey found that, of the 467 local authorities that now have websites, only 10 have reached fully transactional status where two-way interaction can take place; an increase of only one per cent over last year.
Three of the 10 authorities to reach transactional status are district councils. Kate Mountain, chief executive at Socitm, saw this as a positive step. "It is good-going because these [district councils] are normally small with fewer resources," she said.
Local authorities have come a long way in the five years since the survey started, Mountain added. And, despite the small number reaching full transactional status, new investments made by the government should speed things up, she predicted.
But more attention should be put on volume services. "High-volume services such as housing benefit and planning should be focused on, rather than 100 per cent across the board," she said.
Other highlights of the study showed that 29 per cent of local authority websites now provide useful content and more advanced online services, an increase of seven per cent.
But local government planning services are unlikely to hit the 2005 deadline, according to a separate survey of planning authorities by the Local Government Association (LGA).
One in three local government planning authorities said they expected to miss the 2005 e-government target.
But Stephen Connor, project officer at the LGA, remained confident that authorities would meet their targets, following the announcement of additional initiatives to speed the adoption of online services by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.
"If you consider the space of time between now and the beginning of 2005 they will achieve a lot by then," Connor said.
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