Select Committee on Trade and Industry Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence

Annex D


  The Office of the e-Envoy includes two teams working to help public service providers to meet the Prime Minister's target of delivering all public services electronically by 2005.

  The UK online Citizen's Portal, which went live on 4 December 2000, included four Life Episodes. These have been developed to help citizens to navigate their way around the complexity of public services during a major life event. The first four to be developed are "having a baby", "moving home", "going away" and "dealing with crime". Two more—"death and bereavement" and "learning to drive" are being developed for a February release.

  The Citizen's Portal currently provides a source of information to help users of public services, but does not deliver services per se. this will become possible when the Government Gateway is launched in late January.

  The Government Gateway will provide a secure environment in which citizens and businesses will be able to submit personal or confidential information to a wide range of public services—the services with which they currently deal in person or by post or telephone. The user's identity will be authenticated, enabling public service providers to confidently make financial and other transactions in return.

  The first transactions offered through the Government Gateway will be PAYE filing, VAT movements, and Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) scheme. CAP scheme will be the first live transaction, accepting transactions from mid-March, and the remainder will follow shortly after. The three departments concerned—Inland Revenue, Customs and Excise and MAFF respectively—have been closely involved in the development. An early suggestion that "booking a driving test" might be feasible electronically has since been discounted.

  The Government Gateway team is currently working to identify the next batch of services to be delivered electronically. The aim is to contact as many central government departments, local government agencies and devolved administrations as possible to investigate the readiness to deliver services over the Gateway. This will involve the department working with the Gateway Team to assess the department's technical readiness for participation and to identify suitable transactions. This activity will result in a "roadmap" of potential transactions, with expected delivery dates. These can then be prioritised as required.

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