Is local government supposed to create jobs or not?

I seem to be blogging a lot about local government at the moment. This is because there has been a lot of reaction to Birmingham City Council’s decision to offshore IT jobs.

I was reading an article that featured an interview with Birmingham City Council’s Glyn Evans, who is also the president of public sector IT body, the Society of IT managers. In reaction to criticisms about sending jobs to India, Evans said that local authorities are not here to protect jobs, but services. See the interview here.

Earlier today a Computer Weekly journalist telephoned Socitm to get some comment about offshoring in local government. Socitm’s London chair Geoff Connell, who is also IT head at the London Borough of Newham, was put forward for comment with Evans being on holiday. He said local authorities do have an important role in employing locals. He said: “As a local authority you also have a role to employ local people and develop new talent.”

He was also very cautious about the practice of offshoring local government IT but saw Birmingham’s move as being bold and one that will help other authorities make decisions in the future. See the blog post about this here.

I have also been running a survey on the blog this week to get people’s views on Birmingham’s decision. I have had 42 respondents so far and will soon report on the findings. In the meantime please fill in the survey below.