Investment backs up IT agenda


Investment backs up IT agenda

James Rogers
2002 could go down in history as the year when the Government finally took the public sector IT bull by the horns.

By announcing billions of pounds' worth of funding to overhaul public sector IT, the Government is hoping to avoid repeating the IT problems of the past.

In June, the Department of Health outlined the health service's future technology strategy, in what promises to be the largest IT project ever seen in the UK. The long-awaited national IT strategy, Delivering 21st Century IT Support for the NHS, is a massive overhaul of IT within the health service.

The man overseeing this ambitious strategy, Richard Granger, took up his post in late September. Dubbed the NHS IT tsar, the former Deloitte Consulting executive now faces a task which has been described as the IT challenge of the decade.

In June, Tony Blair complained that many of the UK's criminal justice IT systems are "still in the dark ages", a statement which was followed shortly afterwards by a Government White Paper outlining key long-term targets for criminal justice IT.

Last month, the prime minister used his first major speech on e-government for two years to outline a £6bn investment plan to boost public sector IT. However, this month research revealed that more than half of local authorities do not expect to meet the 2005 target for putting all services online.

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