‘Gung-ho' attitude scuppers public-sector IT projects

Government IT heads’ ‘gung-ho’ and reckless attitudes to risk is wasting millions of taxpayer money on over-complex, poorly tested systems, according to a think-tank study.

Government IT heads’ ‘gung-ho’ and reckless attitudes to risk is wasting millions of taxpayer money on over-complex, poorly tested systems, according to a think-tank study.

Contrary to the stereotype, many public-sector managers have a ‘reckless streak’ and are dazzled by the potential of the technology, according to the ‘Where next for transformational government’ report by The Work Foundation.

The report finds that many IT projects suffer from over-complex design and are rushed out without proper testing and without following the advice of staff who will use the systems.

“Government should not be about cutting-edge innovation – it should be about serving citizens well and efficiently,” says Alexandra Jones, co-author and associate director at The Work Foundation.

“If someone gets their benefit late due to compute failure, it matters in a way that it simply doesn’t when private sector ICT projects fail. The private sector can afford the luxuries of innovating; in the public sector, ICT needs to work.”

This was last published in October 2006

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