Minister launches the UK Government's Digital Challenge

Minister launches the UK Government's Digital Challenge

Wednesday 7 December 2005 10:29
Office of The Deputy Prime Minister (National)


The “Digital Challenge” – providing the opportunity to create a world class exemplar of a “wired up community” – was launched today by Minister for Local E-Government Jim Fitzpatrick. The challenge is to use technology to transform the face of services, including local and central government services, to better meet the needs of local communities – including the most disadvantaged.

Government and Industry have provided more than £7 million, to be given to the Digital Challenge winner, as well as ten regional finalists who will each receive £200,000.

The successful bid will need to provide evidence of a highly focused and effective partnership of public, private, community and voluntary sectors. It should also make a real and significant change for the local community as quickly as possible.

Jim Fitzpatrick, Minister responsible for Local E-government at the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, said:

“I am very excited by the Digital Challenge – it has the potential to bring real change to peoples lives through the innovative use of ICT. It will also act as beacon for service providers, government, and the rest of the ICT community on how they can make a real difference to ordinary people”s lives.

“I look forward with keen interest to see what kinds of projects will be developed as part of this challenge. The Digital Challenge will drive forward improvements in local services and in local e-government which are at the core of ODPM”s work.”

Digital Challenge has the potential to make a real difference to people”s lives, providing streamlined access to local government services, through a variety of channels. We look to the winning bid to meet three fundamental requirements:

Empowerment – The winning bid will be able to show how they will use ICT to give new choice, voice and empowerment to citizens; it should be about enabling citizens to participate in their communities, as well as gaining access to services.

Service Transformation – This must demonstrate radical innovation in changing how we offer services to people – using ICT to transform the whole way a service is provided; used and experienced.

Efficiency – Local Authorities must show that after year one their initiatives are sustainable and cost effective and be prepared to showcase these to other local authorities in years two and three, acting as the UK exemplar.

It has gained support from across government including ODPM, Department for Heath, The Department for Educations and Skills and the Department for Trade and Industry.