Targets depend on IT changes

Radical changes in the management and procurement of diverse IT projects is essential if the Government to meet its 2005 target...

Radical changes in the management and procurement of diverse IT projects is essential if the Government to meet its 2005 target for getting services online, says a briefing note from Parliamentary Lobby Group Eurim.

The briefing identified programme management of related IT projects as being key to meeting the e-government targets.

"While the application of programme management is recognised as essential, it is not embedded within the operations of departments," it said.

Among a list of recommendations, Eurim called on the Government to publish a complete list of high value public sector projects as well as information on how they relate to other projects and overall policy.

The lobby group also called for improved programme management training for civil servants.

Eurim acknowledged that guidance on modernising government from the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) is useful but warned that the UK suffers a lack of specific expertise for programme management. The report said, "Government intent is sincere and OGC guidance is good but the skills, processes and culture needed to make it happen are lacking."

Last December the Government introduced a new project-testing technique called Gate Zero to its Gateway Review process for major IT schemes. Launched in February 2000, the Gateway Review process was implemented to put an end to previous high-profile IT project failures such as those that hit the Passport Office and the Immigration and Nationality Directorate.

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