Socitm leadership issues need to be addressed, says review

Rebecca Thomson

The local government IT directors group, needs to resolve leadership issues before it can fulfil a lead role in delivering the government's IT professionalism agenda, initial findings from the organisation's corporate service review reveal.

The KMPG review concludes that the Society of Information Management is well positioned to become the professional body for IT across the public sector, and can fulfil a "positive lead role in delivering the government's IT professionalism agenda."

But 85% of members interviewed for the review said they were not clear about Socitm's current strategy, and 80% of people said a lack of leadership is the major reason for Socitm's problems. The report said, "Both the day to day activities and future strategic direction of Socitm are being constrained by poor leadership."

The review also said that Socitm has a poor decision-making process, and that the corporate team provide poor management of services such as financial management, PR, marketing and overall service management.

The report says, "There is no easy or clear view of what these services are, what they deliver or what they cost - from the financial records estimates range between £700,000 and £900,000. Some of the external contracts have not been re-tendered for a number of years."

Positive aspects of the review include members' pride in their association with Socitm, and its strong image. They also saw networking, sharing information and best practice as good reasons to belong to Socitm.

The review also said that Socitm's strong policy role provides an effective single voice in government and industry.

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