E-government bulletin
ISSUE 333, 18 April 2011
A Headstar Publication www.headstar.com/egb


Balancing budgets

NEWS: Council Web Ads ‘Will Give Residents Financial Protection’.

A local authority that is shortly to begin running commercial advertising on its website says the practice will protect residents from having to bear the brunt of budget cuts....

Read full story here, A new age for council websites...?

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NEWS: Cloud Computing Low But On The Rise, Research Shows.

Adoption of cloud computing models in the UK public and private sector is low but rising gradually amid lingering security concerns, new research suggests....

Read full story here, The cloud begins to grow...

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The US national flag

NEWS: US e-Politics Pioneer Phil Noble Runs For Party Office.

One of the pioneers of the use of the internet in democratic politics is running for political office in the US this month: Phil Noble, founder of PoliticsOnline, is bidding to become the next chair of the Democratic Party in his home state of South Carolina....

Read full story here, PoliticsOnline founder runs for Democrats...

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Web Worries: Most council website management teams are expected to shrink, following public sector budget cuts, new research has revealed. A survey by web services company Vli showed that 66% of 26 UK council IT managers now expect to lose some staff from their web team. However, some 58% of managers also feel their council’s website is not being used to its full potential by local residents and other users:

Quick link: Web Worries

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Authentication Decision: The government now intends to use or adapt existing online ‘authentication’ or identity check systems already developed by banks, telecommunications companies or other firms rather than develop its own ID system from scratch, Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude has told the Public Administration Select Committee. The evidence came as part of the committee’s ‘Good governance: the effective use of IT’ inquiry (see E-Gov Bulletin issue 326: http://bit.ly/f0Njpp ), on the same day that the government’s ICT Strategy was launched (see previous issue: http://bit.ly/hojWlo ). "If there are other organisations out there, which may be public or private sector, that are highly motivated to be good at checking that you are who you say you are, then we should not be reinventing the wheel", Maude said:

Quick link: Authentication Decision

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Council Health: NHS Choices, the online portal of the National Health Service, is hosting a free, half-day information event for local authority web and communication managers in Leeds, on 21 April in partnership with the Society of IT Management (Socitm). ‘Local councils and health: the role of digital communications’ will cover a range of topics including how councils can use syndicated health content from NHS Choices on their websites, performance of council websites, and how councils can meet public demand for health information. To register, follow the link below:

Quick link: Council Health

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Parking issues

Case study:
e-Petitions in Surrey - a success story.

When Surrey County Council began to look at building an e-petitions system for its website, it wanted a customer-focused solution that would take account of residents’ needs and be easy to use. After working with MySociety and creating an innovative back-end automatic redirection system, this is exactly what the council has created, writes Louise Halloway, web operations manager at the council....

Read full story here,
Building a successful e-petition system...

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Editor: Dan Jellinek
Reporter: Tristan Parker
Associate Editors: Derek Parkinson; Mel Poluck
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ISSN 1476-6310