Managers failing to use IT to meet Gershon targets

Senior managers and frontline staff at all levels of government are struggling to realise the potential of IT to meet the efficiency targets set by the Gershon Review, says new research from The Work Foundation.

Senior managers and frontline staff at all levels of government are struggling to realise the potential of IT to meet the efficiency targets set by the Gershon Review, says new research from The Work Foundation.

The research, sponsored by Adobe, found that over two-thirds of frontline staff are unsure about what “efficiency” means, while two-thirds of frontline managers do not see IT as being integral to public service reforms.

The Work Foundation says the government’s forthcoming e-Government strategy must quickly put in place the building blocks to engage leaders of organisations into thinking about IT’s contribution at an early stage.

The Work Foundation also said those developing governmental IT strategies had to adopt flexible strategies that addressed different areas. For instance, it said its research showed that people are more willing to pay taxes online than to discuss medical issues.

It also said there was the need for a debate about data privacy to overcome opposition to IT, and to convince people about the benefits of technology in delivering services.

The Foundation also said IT procurement processes and supply chain management had to be improved to deliver better IT solutions.

In addition, those initiating public IT projects had to listen more to public sector staff before going live with projects, and learn from past mistakes to avoid future ones.

Alexandra Jones, associate director of The Work Foundation, said, "If public services are to be transformed, it is urgent that public service leaders think innovatively about how information and communication technology can be used to meet efficiency targets and increase customer focus.

“ICT is not an end in itself - but it can provide ways of revolutionising both the relationship between the citizen and public services and the way in which public services are provided,” Jones said.

The research findings were based on interviews with senior public service managers, a survey of over 500 public service workers, 1,000 members of the public and two focus groups.

The not-for-profit Work Foundation has Royal Charter status and aims to improve the quality of working life while lifting organisational performance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

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