[LINK] (European) Businesses benefiting from e-government services

Bernard Robertson-Dunn brd@austarmetro.com.au
Tue, 11 Feb 2003 09:03:25 +1100

Businesses benefiting from e-government services 
But citizens aren't having quite such a fine time online
Fri 7 February 2003 12:04PM GMT

Europe's citizens are still getting a raw deal when it comes to
e-government - although businesses are now able to take advantage of an
increasingly sophisticated array of online services throughout the European
Union (EU).

Cap Gemini Ernst & Young today released the results of its third survey on
electronic Public Services in Europe, which is conducted on behalf of the
European Commission (EC).

It looked at the progress Europe is making in providing online services to
citizens and businesses. The measurement criteria cover the level of online
interaction and the overall availability of public services online.

For the 20 public services analysed across the 15 EU member states, plus
Norway, Iceland and Switzerland, the online sophistication has grown by 15
percentage points in one year, from 45 per cent to 60 per cent.

Denmark, Sweden, Ireland and Finland showed particularly good progress, as
they have developed services which go beyond the level of two-way
interaction, the report states.

Overall, Sweden and Ireland show the highest level of online
sophistication, although in Luxembourg, Belgium and Germany, the online
presence of service providers such as towns, cities, universities and
libraries is above average. Their level of sophistication online is less
developed, however.

In almost every country, public services for businesses score significantly
higher than those for citizens - and the gap is widening.

Stanislas Cozon Vice President, Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, said in a
statement: "The results show that in the past year significant progress has
been made by European governments in providing strong online services
around income-generation. European governments now need to focus more on
the other services, particularly those most relevant to citizens - and
overall ensure that they have the right approach to implement

European Commissioner Erkki Liikanen added: "E-government in Europe should
now focus more closely on the transformation of government authorities into
customer-oriented service providers."

Good communication is as stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to
sleep after.
-- Anne Morrow Lindbergh 

Bernard Robertson-Dunn
Canberra Australia