Quarkside

07/11/2010

Cabinet Office Conceals Concepts

Filed under: Governance,Local Government,Strategy — lenand @ 7:54 pm
Tags: , ,

Where is open government leading us?  Methinks, not where where open-minded people are welcome.  Tony Collins alerted us to a ban on officials at the Cabinet Office giving talks on matters relating to Government IT.   Andrew Tait (Deputy Director Data Centre Strategy, G-Cloud and Apps Store at the Office of the Government CIO, Cabinet Office) has been asked to stop further disclosures of policy.  Well at least to Pitcom, the Parliamentary IT Committee – hardly neo-terrorists.  Would he have said more than one of his quotes at the SOCITM Conference, as a strong message to local government?

“We will have to have tough talks with chief executives. They are not going to be able to have bespoke systems – they will have to live with 80%-90% of functionality they want at 20% of cost, and we are going to have to adapt our business processes to fit the software that all our peers are using.”

This is really cage rattling stuff.  Just “not British” and no wonder he has been gagged for telling it how it ought to be.  SOCITM Policy is to encourage these sorts of thoughts.  I suppose Pitcom are too close to Politicians.  It is rumoured that civil servants are not supposed to utter opinions to MPs without ministerial approval.  Is this true?

It sounds as though Andrew has some good concepts in mind; GCloud and App Store.  Will they ever emerge from the Cabinet Office cocoon?  They had some good ideas four years ago; do you remember the “Enterprise Architecture for UK Government“.  Has anybody seen the output, how much money was spent?

I don’t actually want to know the answer, because I had no faith in the techniques they adopted.  What concerns me is that the same obfuscating processes are still in place.  Will innovation will be incapacitated by a lethal combination of dithering and despotic decisions?

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