06/07/2006 Digital Divide remains wide despite increased connectivity worldwide, UNCTAD finds PDF Print E-mail
The digital divide between nations remains wide: a person in a high-income country is over 22 times more likely to be an Internet user than one in a low-income nation. There are signs, however, that information and communication technology (ICT) diffusion is slowly becoming more equal, according to UNCTAD´s newly released report: The Digital Divide: ICT Diffusion Index 2005.

The report ranks 180 countries and monitors how the digital divide is evolving. As expected, the top places are dominated by industrial nations from North America and Western Europe and by the Asian "tigers," while many of the lower-ranking countries are in Sub-Saharan Africa. There are many reasons for the digital divide, but most are related to the primary cause: poverty.

04/07/2006 Commission opens online public consultation on radio frequency identification (RFID) PDF Print E-mail
An online public consultation on how the European Commission can help to ensure that the growing use of radio frequency identification devices (RFID) boosts the competitiveness of the Europe's economy and improves the quality of life of its citizens, whilst safeguarding their basic rights, and in particular their privacy, was launched today on the ‘Your Voice in Europe’ website (

30/06/2006 CILIP launches new Executive Briefing to focus on managing change in the e-enabled librar PDF Print E-mail
CILIP has joined up with change management specialists Q2 to produce a cutting-edge programme for its second Executive Briefing of 2006. It will be presented at CILIP's Central London offices on 8 September and will focus on Managing change in the e-Enabled Library.

Full details of the programme and on-line booking is available on the event's website at This event follows the sell-out success of CILIP's e-Copyright Executive Briefing in June, which delegates rated 90% Good to Excellent.

29/06/2006 Should patients have to opt out of electronic records? PDF Print E-mail
The potential benefits of sharing patient electronic records within health systems are broadly agreed, but concerns remain over patient consent and security.  Experts in this week’s BMJ discuss how patients should consent to use of electronic records in the NHS and how the data can be kept secure.

There are two broad schools of thought.  The first (the opt-out model) is for the public to be informed of the NHS care records service and to be given a chance to opt out if they do not want their clinical records shared within the NHS.  The second model is for no sharing to occur until people have expressed their desire to share their clinical records within the NHS (the opt-in model).

28/06/2006 Freedom of Information works, say MPs, but complaints delays must be tackled and records PDF Print E-mail
The Constitutional Affairs Committee today publishes its report into the progress of the new Freedom of Information Act, just over a year after it was enacted. The legislation is proving useful and effective and has led to the release of significant and valuable information.

However, the Committee expresses concerns over the time it has taken for some requesters to obtain information, with internal reviews in some organisations being delayed indefinitely and months taken to assess public interest factors. The Committee regards this as contrary to the spirit of the Act and welcomes a commitment from the Information Commissioner to adopt a firmer approach to enforcement, and put pressure on public authorities to deal with requests more quickly. The DCA must work with the Information Commissioner to raise standards so that authorities consistently provide a more timely response to requesters.

27/06/2006 Belgian government to adopt ODF PDF Print E-mail

The Belgian government has ordered all of its departments to use the Open Document format for internal communications.  The proposal is expected to be approved by Belgium's Council of Ministers on Friday.  From September 2008 onwards, all document exchanges within the services of the Belgian Government will have to be in an open, standard format.
22/06/2006 What young people think of public libraries PDF Print E-mail
Public libraries must continue to evolve to keep pace with the expectations of young people, a major new report confirms.

Released at a seminar in London today, the report, commissioned by the DCMS (Department for Culture Media and Sport) and funded by MLA (Museums, Libraries and Archives Council) and the Laser Foundation, studies the views, perceptions and attitudes towards public libraries of people aged between 14 and 35.

21/06/2006 The National Archives and the Office of Public Sector Information to merge PDF Print E-mail
The National Archives and The Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI), which is currently attached to the Cabinet Office, are to merge.  The merger will create a stronger centre for information management in the public sector, enabling a more responsive approach to the challenges of new technology.
19/06/2006 NeSDS partners with ESD Toolkit to launch roll out phase supporting local Government Tran PDF Print E-mail
The National eService Delivery Standards (NeSDS) Programme has now partnered with the ESD Toolkit to deliver the benefits of the eService Delivery Standards to all Local Authorities in line with the requirements of the transformation agenda as part of the NeSDS rollout phase.

The NeSDS Programme published 10 eService Delivery Standards following wide ranging consultation.

16/06/2006 Leases and mortgages go online at Land Registry PDF Print E-mail
Direct and Land Register Online – as new leases and mortgage deeds are added to the register.

From 12 July 2006, all leases and mortgages registered after this date will be electronically scanned, adding some 10,000 documents daily to the existing database of over 12 million electronic deeds.
14/06/2006 Pioneering FOI website for higher education sector PDF Print E-mail
Experts from Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) and MIMAS (University of Manchester) have been awarded £200,000 to develop a new online ‘one stop shop’ on the Freedom of Information Act 2000, and other pertinent governance legislation, such as the Data Protection Act.

The new Information Governance Gateway has been commissioned by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) following a survey of higher education institutions earlier this year.

12/06/2006 E-Conveyancing receives enthusiastic support from the property profession PDF Print E-mail
Solicitors, conveyancers and estate agents have responded with overwhelming support for Land Registry’s e-conveyancing proposals, according to independent research commissioned by Land Registry.

The ability to view home-buying chains online was one of the most popular proposed services with 68 per cent of solicitors and conveyancers and 70 per cent of estate agents saying that they would take up the Chain Matrix facility. Seventy-four per cent of estate agents also said that they would be keen to receive updates on the chain by email.

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