Mowlam embraces electronic service delivery

25 Nov 99
The influential Performance and Innovation Unit (PIU) at the Cabinet Office is to investigate which public services can be delivered electronically and to examine the respective roles of both the public and private sectors.

26 November 1999

Mo Mowlam, making her first major pronouncement as Cabinet Office minister at a Local Government Association conference in Birmingham on November 24, said the PIU would deliver its report on the strategic options for the electronic delivery of government services to the prime minister next summer.

Mowlam said it was essential to find new ways of delivering public services: 'We need to reflect what people want and which services they find easy to use.

'Only in this way will we be able to see information-age government make a real difference to people's lives and prove once and for all that we have banished the words "old-fashioned" and "mediocre" from people's perception of public services.'

Mowlam called for an end to 'the barmy situation' where people on benefit have to inform up to six agencies if they move house.

She said: 'Surprise, surprise, people do not live their lives according to the departmental boundaries of Whitehall. They should have services that are joined up and responsive to their needs.'

The PIU's work will be overseen by sponsor minister Michael Wills, who is parliamentary under secretary of state at the Department for Education and Employment.

Praising the work of local authorities, Mowlam added: 'When it comes to using IT to deliver services, of course I'm aware that I'm preaching to the converted. Local government leads the way.'


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