Having not mentioned Andrea di Maio too recently (4th October), I’d like to pick up on a recent post of his where he compares the chances of Government 2.0 succeeding in the light of the unchanged issues that pervaded Government 1.0. Amongst these issues he lists “Cultural barriers, turf battles, risk avoidance, a procedural rather than a policy-based approach to accountability.”
In considering the employment of the maturity models and rankings so favoured internationally by consultancies, he states that “In the past those rankings hardly cared about how many people were actually using those online services, let alone what value were getting from them”!
This topic naturally lead onto a posting by Public Strategist entitled “e-Government ten years on”, that in its turn reported on a post or two by Jerry Fishenden. This is all good stuff in the fact that at least some people out there are willing to learn from history. Public Strategist admits their predictions were badly wrong, but my view is not a criticism of the predictions but of the actual failure to measure the progress, success or failure, that wasted millions, if not billions, of the money, we are now so desperately short of!
There are many good points in what Jerry Fishenden raises but a couple of the bullet points from both pieces (8 September and 1 October) are worth repeating:
“Most day-to-day interactions with citizens happen at the local level. So look at models of online interaction that recognise this reality and that local government and third-parties may provide the entry point for the re-definition of the delivery of public services
Taking existing inefficient services and putting them online won’t deliver the benefits being sought. Public services need to be re-engineered around what ICT now makes possible
Re-designing services needs to put the citizen/business at the centre, not the producer (or the producer’s idea of what the citizen/business wants). Government needs to get away from inappropriate approaches such as department-based CRM, which project internal government silo’s and stovepipes and impose them on the citizen
The main blocker to modernising the UK and the effective use of innovation is the hierarchy and arrogance that exists within much of the public service, particularly Whitehall, which lives in a world that has long since passed and refuses to listen and learn
We should be using the scale of modern technology to get massive and continuing feedback from those the public sector is there to serve, providing a programme of continuous improvement under the tutelage of those who use the services the most”
The history lesson from Public Strategist was not new to me, having been haunted by it since the beginning, and having had to revisit the sequence of events that led up to the crime as part of the literature review for my PhD. It did, however, confirm the route that was taken and confirmed my suspicions of the foul deed.
From the above three bloggers we seem to have a consensus, which I heartily support. Let us hear again the lessons learned in recent history and hopefully not make the same mistakes!
The blogger is Mick Phythian, a Research Associate at De Montfort University in Leicester, U.K. and former ICT Manager at Ryedale District Council in North Yorkshire, England. He was also a founder member of the Local CIO Council and regional Chair of Socitm.
Any opinions expressed on this weblog are purely those of the author.
He is not the Great Emancipator! The Great Emancipator was President Abraham Lincoln. The blog is so-called because some people perceive e-government, transformational government or, heaven forbid, government to be the emancipator of us all...