§ Dr. Kumar
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister of the central Government Departments and agencies required to meet the Prime Minister's target for electronically available services by 2005, what common problems have been revealed through the regular e-business strategy documents; and how they are being addressed. 
§ Mr. Alexander
I have been asked to reply.
The latest e-business strategies were submitted to the e-envoy during summer 2001. An analysis of the strategies revealed several common issues.There is a need for staff to gain necessary skills. Departments are tackling this in a number of ways with support from the centre. For example the office of the e-envoy has developed a skills map for e-government which identifies all the skills that might need to be considered when implementing e-services. In addition, the Centre for Management and Policy Studies ran a series of events where the leadership dimensions of successful e-government projects was addressed.Additional resources are required to support IT-enabled change programmes—this is being addressed in part under the current spending review. In addition Departments may bid for funding from the Capital Modernisation Fund and Invest to Save Budget.Departments need to update existing, or legacy, IT systems. This is a matter for Departments to address. Centrally, the Government Gateway infrastructure allows joined-up government services to be delivered electronically.In order to more reliably assess the costs and benefits from e-government, the office of the e-envoy are considering with HM Treasury the case for developing additional guidance addressing the appraisal of risks involved in realising the benefits from e-delivery projects.Internet-enabled 'Intermediaries'—acting on behalf of their customers—can provide better access to e-government services for those without other means to benefit from online access. The office of the e-envoy has worked with intermediaries, including the National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux (NACAB) which has received funding to assist its advisers in 1,400 centres to deliver e-government services and advice to individuals who may not have direct Internet access themselves.