Leading figures in e-government and the Internet are recognised in today’s New Year Honours.


At the top of the pile, there are knighthoods for the inventor of the world wide web, Tim Berners-Lee, and chief executive of the Office for Government Commerce, Peter Gershon.  The government’s e-envoy, Andrew Pinder, is awarded a CBE.


Sir Tim, a famously modest man, told BBC Online his knighthood proved what can happen to "ordinary people" who work on things that "happen to work out", like the web.  He said the honour was an acknowledgement that the net was becoming globally powerful, and not just a "passing trend".


Sir Peter was brought in from BAE systems to improve Whitehall’s purchasing generally, but much of his work has concerned government IT.  He is credited with being a tough bargainer with the big technology companies and has recently started work on a review of central government running costs.


Questioned by the House of Commons public accounts committee in the autumn about the NHS National Programme for IT, he said: “The NHS programme is challenging, is risky and it is ambitious; there is no point hiding that, because it is.”


He added that this is why Richard Granger had been bought in as director-general of NHS IT:  “That is why we brought in what we thought was a pretty good guy from the private sector to lead it. He has built up a very strong team around him.”


e-Envoy, Andrew Pinder, has tackled the specific job of putting government departments online while also acting a general cheerleader for e-government.  Part of his job will soon be taken over by a new head of e-government UK in April.


The list also includes many names from the NHS – high profile and not so well-known.  Health secretary, John Reid said in a New Year message to all NHS staff:

"Although these honours recognise the work of individuals, the people who receive them are always the first to pay tribute to the part played by the colleagues and teams with whom they work. I know how much these awards mean not just to the individuals and their families, but to colleagues at work and in communities as well – often the people who have nominated them.