Martha Lane Fox Keeps ‘Digital Champion’ Role

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The coalition government is keeping Martha Lane Fox as the UK’s ‘digital champion’ with a brief to cut government costs with online services

Martha Lane Fox has been asked by the coalition government to focus on ways for it to save costs by taking services online.

Lane Fox, who had advised the previous Labour administration on digital inclusion, has been retained in her position as digital champion after Number 10 confirmed that she will occupy a similar role for the new government.

She will also sit on the government’s efficiency board, co-chaired by Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude and Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander.

Reducing Costs

“Making sure everyone, no matter where they live or who they are, can reap the benefits of online services has never been more important and I’m looking forward to working with Martha Lane Fox to make sure this happens more quickly,” Francis Maude was quoted as saying on Reuters.

“This work is about more than putting more information online,” he added. “It’s about reducing the cost of government and at the same time really improving the delivery of public services and making them more easily accessible and easy to use,” he said.

Lane Fox co-founded Europe’s largest travel and leisure website Lastminute.com, which was floated in 2000. However in 2004 she was severely injured in a car accident in Morocco, and spent a year in the John Radcliffe Hospital recovering.

Big Changes

“I am so happy that the new coalition government has decided to continue with the vital work of helping more people in the UK get online to improve their options in life and take part in the same conversations as those of us who use the web every day,” Lane Fox wrote on her website.

“I feel strongly that government can provide leadership on this issue as so many of the people who are offline are also the heaviest users of government services,” she added. “There are going to be big changes around Whitehall in light of the budget tomorrow but I hope that where relevant, I can champion the use of digital technologies to improve government processes, improve services for us all and crucially, to try and end the two tier society that we live in where so many are left out of all the exciting ideas and transparency that the new coalition want to realise.”

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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