A few days ago, we were given a leaked copy of Labour’s report on public sector IT, which was scheduled to be published ahead of the Pre-Budget Report next week. The Government hopes that this report will prove that they can make efficiency savings to deal with the spiralling debt crisis, and can finally get to grips with the systemic failures in public sector IT procurement over the past decade.
As you will see, the report achieves none of these things.
Since 1997, Labour ministers have spent approximately £100 billion on IT projects, more than any other European country. A recent study concluded that 70% of recent IT projects have failed – meaning tens of billions of pounds wasted on systems ranging from the calamitous £20 billion NHS supercomputer to the poorly managed Home Office probation service IT system.
We think there’s a better way. Not only is it possible to develop a more ambitious, cost-effective and transformative vision for government IT, but we believe that it’s also possible to pursue a completely different approach to making policy. Rather than the traditional closed approach to policy making that this report typifies, we want to throw open the process and allow people to contribute their ideas on how policy should be designed. In the post-bureaucratic age, we believe that crowdsourcing and collaborative design can help us to make better policies – and we think this approach should begin now.
That’s why we’ve built a new website – www.makeITbetter.org.uk – where you can post your comments and suggestions on this leaked Government report. We want to hear your ideas – and we will be responding to your thoughts in the weeks ahead.
I look forward to reading your comments – thanks for taking part.