Can governments really ban offshoring in this day and age?

US state of Ohio’s decision to ban the offshoring of government work to countries like India has triggered a debate that could be an important one for the UK as the government looks for ways to cut costs.

Ohio State has prohibited the spending of state funds on services provided offshore in countries such as India. Other US states could follow suit as they attempt to create more local jobs.

With public sector cost cutting increasing the likelihood of UK public sector jobs being outsourced higher tha ever before, the Ohio stort is relevant.

Ohio Governor Ted Strickland (a Democrat) was quoted as arguing that offshoring undermines economic development and has unacceptable business consequences for his state

This is exactly what one of Inside Outsourcing’s readers said in a thoughtful blog comment recently. I later blogged about it here.

NASSCOM, which represents Indian IT suppliers, said this in a statement. “Ohio state’s proposed ban on outsourcing of government IT projects comes at a time when the November elections to the United State Congress and Ohio governorship are drawing nearer. The ban can only be viewed as counterproductive to the US government thrust on reducing public deficit and possibly lead to an increased tax burden on its citizens,”

But the question is could the UK do a similar thing?

It wouldn’t fit well with the government’s recent visit to India aimed at increasing business ties which was welcomed in India.