Technology creating a 'fairer society'

This week’s e-Government National Awards have shown that technology is helping the UK public to receive more efficient, user-friendly and greener services.

"More and more people are using the internet to carry out everyday tasks like banking and shopping, and they have the right to expect that the public services they rely on are available in the same way. The government is committed to making our public services stronger, more efficient and more accessible than ever before, and we can only achieve this by making most of the opportunities that the digital age opens up,” said Tom Watson, Cabinet Office minister for Transformational Government.

"While there is still plenty more can be done, these awards show that a huge amount of fantastic, innovative work is going on across the country to ensure that the best advice, information and services are easily available in a way that fits in with busy and diverse modern lifestyles.”

A record breaking number of entries spanned a range of projects including the Charity Commission's scheme to encourage online charity returns, and a programme pioneered by Hertfordshire Police that lets officers send urgent appeals and crime alerts direct to the public.

Winners across 11 categories received the UK's highest-level commendation for the best e-government and technology-driven services - services which, through innovative online delivery or IT implementation, have positively transformed lives. These included Birmingham City Council, RNIB Cymru, NHS Connecting for Health, the University of Bath and Fife Council.

"When times are tough, as they are now, it is more important than ever for government to work as smoothly and efficiently as possible, so it's good to see technology providing real efficiency gains at the same time as increasing the effectiveness of services," said Prime Minister, Gordon Brown.

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