The government is attempting to balance the bad publicity over its large and troubled IT schemes by publishing a two-volume report celebrating the public sector's IT successes.
The Transformational Government report, which runs to 160 pages, is a documentary tribute to the 50,000 IT professionals who work in the public sector.
Government CIO John Suffolk says in his foreword to the reports that without government IT systems "the country would grind to a halt". He thanks the IT specialists who have supported government work with "brilliance, passion and pride".
The reports highlight IT achievement in all the main parts of government.
- The number of self-assessment tax returns filed online by the deadline of 31 January 2009 was a record - up by more than 50% on 2008. There were many fewer complaints about the service than in previous years.
- Customer service in the Department for Work and Pensions has improved, with 100% availability of the main 25 IT systems in August 2008, and 7,000 IT system updates delivered since January 2008.
- The report praises the Department for Transport, whose systems allowed 13 million motorists to renew their car tax online or complete a Statutory Off Road Notification. Nearly three million driving tests were booked online.
- Work on IT for the police, Crown Prosecution Service, on ID Cards and on the NHS's National Programme for IT is also praised.
Suffolk said there must be "even more focus on driving value out of the investments we make will be paramount".
He added: "To make progress we must re-use, not re-invent. We must invest where we can create value for all, not for one. We must engage with citizens, as we cannot second-guess the needs of those who use our services. We must collaborate and join up services across the many and varied boundaries, as we cannot operate in isolation."