As green as we appear

With the recent announcement of Sir Philip Green’s findings about government procurement, I’m surprised that so many people in government are surprised. Although the report is not directed at e-government, its does include IT services and hardware, and that can only be reflected in the cost of delivering services electronically.

So often government behaves like fish in a barrel to the suppliers, particularly when we are overwhelmed by the multinationals. A government before the last, following the New Public Management mantra, broke up  departments into smaller ones and quangos. As such the smaller divisions had less experience in many matters, particularly IT strategy which needs a central mandate to be efficient and we are thus suffering to some extent from an earlier political decision.

Local government, unlike central, has had a set of optional performance indicators to think about that include the costs of delivering the IT services, so every PC, printer, cartridge and box of paper could be identified as a cost that needed managing. We still have the battle of bringing this management to the centre, whilst cascading it outwards, and ridding ourselves of the service silos that want to do their own thing.

This isn’t the first time in my career a similar message has been broadcast, let’s make it the last!

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