HL Deb 07 November 1996 vol 575 c71WA
Lord Brabazon of Tara

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What progress has been made on the Government's proposals to use information technology to deliver government services electronically to businesses and to the citizen.

The Lord Privy Seal (Viscount Cranborne)

My right honourable friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster informed members of the other House on 11th July 1996 that the Government intended to produce a Green Paper on this subject. My right honourable friend today presented to Parliament a Command Paper (CM 3438) entitledgovernment.direct—A Prospectus for the Electronic Delivery of Government services. This paper sets out the Government's vision for the delivery of government services to business and the citizen in the electronic age, harnessing the power of the information revolution to ensure that government services are provided in the most effective and efficient way, making use of advanced technology to improve the quality of service and the value provided to the taxpayer.

The vision set out in the Green Paper describes how access to government can be made via personal computers, electronic terminals in public places and even via ordinary TV sets. Three pilot projects are also launched today which exemplify the possibilities for the future.

This Command Paper is a first step in a new phase of this Government's continuing public service reforms. It heralds an era where government services will be more accessible and easy to use than ever before. They will be more convenient, quicker in response and less costly to the taxpayer. The benefits to the citizen, to business and ultimately to the competitiveness of this country will be considerable.

The Command Paper is intended to stimulate debate and to encourage reaction and comment from all interested parties. The Government want to develop this new revolution in public services in line with public demand and acceptance.

The publication of this paper marks the beginning of an exciting new era. I commend the Command Paper to the House and encourage noble Lords to examine and react to this vision for the future.