The British government has appointed a minister with specific responsibility for IT, liasing between government and industry.

The new minister has been named as Patricia Hewitt, a former consultant with Andersen Consulting, and her key task will be to ensure passage of the Electronic Commerce Bill. The new role is understood to have been recommended in a yet-to-be published prime ministerial report on eCommerce, and gives IT a more prominent role in government.

Likely future tasks for the post may include developing the government's corporate IT strategy, including delivering the stated aim of providing all governmental services electronically by 2008.