6 June 2003
New research published today raises concerns that councils are not fully harnessing the potential of the European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) to help equip staff with the skills for eGovernment.
While many councils are making good progress in implementing ECDL, it is generally regarded as a 'good idea' rather than as part of a co-ordinated, strategic approach to preparing employees for eGovernment.
The finding comes from a report published jointly by Socitm Insight, the Improvement and Development Agency and the British Computer Society, titled Passing the test: A snapshot of European Computer Driving Licence Experience.
According to the study, while the most obvious benefits from ECDL are reduced calls to the ICT Help Desk and improved productivity due to employees not asking each other questions on IT issues, only a small fraction of the local government workforce have completed at least one ECDL module.
"It is some concern that our report shows that generally, ECDL is not seen as a strategic issue for the successfully delivery of eGovernment", commented the report's author Martin Greenwood. "This attitude contrasts with, for example, the firm ambition of the government in Italy to have the whole of its public sector workforce, over two million employees, ECDL-qualified by the end of 2007."
The research was based on case studies from 24 local authorities and analysis of references to the use of ECDL in the second round of Implementing Electronic Government statements. Copies of the report are available from www.socitm.gov.uk
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