Government IT strategy draws fire from technology industry bodies

Government IT strategy has come under fire in evidence presented to an inquiry by MPs into the effectiveness of public sector IT plans.

Government IT strategy has come under fire in evidence presented to an inquiry by MPs into the effectiveness of public sector IT plans.

Some 52 individuals, organisations and suppliers submitted written evidence to the Public Accounts Select Committee.

In a submission from Intellect, the IT industry trade association, the public sector was slammed for being slow to adopt new technology and failing to design systems around the needs of citizens.

"Government operates in silos, procurement is not fit for purpose, a risk-averse culture prevails, technology policy co-ordination and governance are ineffective and the best people with the best skills are not made best use of," it said.

The BCS agreed, saying the implementation of new technology was necessary to adapt to the environment of austerity and will require investment.

According to evidence from the Information Commissioner's Office, current arrangements for co-ordinating technology do not allow individuals to effectively assert their information rights.

Earlier this week Socitm, the body for public sector IT professionals, published its submission, which claimed central government took a heavy handed approach in its IT policy toward local government.

Martin Ferguson, head of public sector policy at Socitm, said: "There is a concern that our recommendations could get overlooked in the mass of evidence, but having said that there are a number of entries from local authorities that make a similar point to us."

The conclusions from the Good Governance - effective use of IT inquiry are expected to be published in June.

Intellect presses government to promote IT in UK economic growth >>

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