Newly appointed UK “e-envoy” Alex Allan has been tasked with encouraging the growth of e-commerce and e-government.

The newly created role sees Allan report directly to Prime Minister Tony Blair. His task is to spearhead the implementation of the e-commerce strategy. Allan is a former British High Commissioner to Australia, with 16 years in government sevice, and was a computer consultant before landing his first government job.

His priorities include constant communication with leading and innovative e-commerce firms and seeing through the Prime Minister's commitment to using e-commerce technologies to improve services to the public.

Allan revealed that his reports to the Prime Minister will be published on his Web Site, which will go live on January 18.

Allan said: "There is no doubt that e-commerce is having a profound effect on business, government and consumers and on the way people live and work. We want to make sure the UK is at the leading edge of this transformation."