Government IT policy heavy handed with local authorities

The government's technology policy is poorly co-ordinated and fails to take into account the concerns of local authorities, Socitm has said.

The government's technology policy is poorly co-ordinated and fails to take into account the concerns of local authorities, Socitm has said.

While the CIO council and the CTO Council have brought a degree of co-ordination, local government is often ignored until technology reaches the implementation stage, said the body for public sector IT professionals. This is despite the fact that 60% of government interactions with the public happens at local level, it added.

Writing in response to the Public Administration Select Committee inquiry into IT governance it said the government's lack of IT co-ordination led to fragmented procurement, duplicated and incompatible systems and extra cost.

"Socitm believes that 'pan-local/pan-public-sector' governance of strategy, architecture and commissioning is the best way to consolidate co-ordination and implementation of information and technology policy," it said.

"Other countries are able to achieve greater flexibility and speed of procurement, including those in Europe that need to comply with EU procurement rules," the society added.

Socitm also called for a central body to enforce information governance standards, strategy and policy work. This would save significant sums of money, cut waste and facilitate a buy once, use many approach, it said.

"Much money is wasted due to the government's lack of in-house expertise to develop and maintain systems and capabilities. Most of this work is outsourced, which means the knowledge is grown externally to the public sector community. While the private sector may profit from this, it is not always to the mutual benefit of both sectors."

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