The Department of Health has pioneered an internal network that lets ministers view policy papers and gain advice online.
The #66,000 system, based on Lotus Notes, enables ministers to obtain information that was previously available only on paper or via civil servants, or was dispersed among several groups.
The system was the brainchild of health secretary Frank Dobson, who was dismayed at the lack of immediate information available in Whitehall, compared to the sophisticated system in use at Labour?s media centre in Millbank Tower.
Called Mint - Ministerial Information Networking Technology - the new system has won the interest of other government departments, including the prime minister?s office.
The Notes server is based at the Department of Health headquarters, and ministers and a handful of assistants can access information such as press releases, speeches, daily diaries and statistics. It also gives ministers online access to rebuttal information for the first time. Rebuttal is a policy created the Labour Party to share details of attacks against party decisions and how to defend them.
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