Quarkside

09/01/2011

PASC 9: Austerity propagates insularity

Filed under: Innovation,Policy — lenand @ 11:40 am
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The ninth of the Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) 12 questions, asks:

9. How will public sector IT adapt to the new ‘age of austerity’?

  • People will leave public sector employment.
  • Innovation and development will diminish.
  • Training will be embargoed.
  • Morale will flag.
  • Productivity will reduce.

There may be more flexibility in central government, but local government IT runs the risk of failure of some services.

Austerity has already had an impact on professional development and knowledge sharing events. Some local authorities have been told to stop all external meetings. In central government, Dr A heard someone say that visits to Brussels have been banned, missing opportunities to influence vital EU legislation.  Austerity causes people to economise and only look inwards for solutions – when better ideas may exist outside.

“How should it adapt?” would be a better question. It should not be a headless chicken reaction, people should look at the principles of Information Governance and commence a ranking exercise. Every public sector organisation should review its services and quickly develop a portfolio of current and future needs. The least important IT services could be ceased or support stopped.

Innovation and training should be protected. Internal administrative systems should be culled or drastically reduced, just look at the £1.4 billion being spent on college administration.

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