Government accused on e-targets

20 September 2000
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21 September 2000 | Cathy Hayward

The government needs to smarten up its act if it is to meet its e-commerce targets, according to a Cabinet Office report.

The annual e-commerce report from the Performance and Innovation Unit blames government inertia for holding back e-commerce. It claims that unless the government has a rethink, it will have invested a lot but have little to show for it.

There were no figures available about the government's progress towards having 90 per cent of routine government purchasing online by 2001, but the report said meeting the target would require substantial work on back-office IT systems.

In another blow to the government's e-agenda, e-envoy Alex Allan has resigned, for personal reasons, after nine months in the job. But insiders claim his departure gives an opportunity to rethink the role. "The e-envoy needs to be someone with e-commerce experience in industry," said Alex Trott, group Internet co-ordinator at oil giant Shell.

• The Cabinet Office report is available on the web at www.cabinet-office.gov.uk/innovation.

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