The UK is behind other countries when it comes to providing e-government services, according to the European Commission.

The Commission has released its 9th Benchmark Measurement of European eGovernment Services report, carried out by IT outsourcer Capgemini, research institute Rand Europe, the analyst group IDC and the Danish Technological Institute (DTI).

The report shows overall progress in making public services available online across the EU. It looks at the availability and sophistication of 20 basic services, such as online tax filling and enrolling in schools within EU countries. The UK features in the top 10 in both of these categories, coming 9th in terms of sophistication and 7th in terms of availability.  

But despite improving on both areas in the last year, the UK is still behind compared to other countries. For example, Ireland, Austria, Malta and Portugal now all achieve maximum scores in both ratings.

The availability of the 20 basic services across the EU stood at an average of 82 percent in 2010, up from 69 percent in 2009. Ireland, Austria, Malta, and Portugal now all achieve maximum scores in both ratings. Switzerland, Bulgaria, Italy, Croatia and Latvia also all dramatically improved their performance since last year’s measurement.

Adoption of eProcurement by European administrations increased from 56 percent to 71 percent between 2009 and 2010, still well short of the goal to make all procurement electronic by 2010. The Commission said, "With governments under pressure to reduce costs through a period of austerity, eProcurement must continue to be adopted by governments to drive down cost."

Neelie Kroes, European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda, said, “The economic crisis and demographic change are forcing governments to rethink how they operate. Hundreds of millions of citizens not only depend on public services, they also want a new, more interactive relationship with their government”

The full report