Government IT strategy

A leaked document setting out the government’s IT strategy for the next five years is “complacent” and lacks ambition, the Conservatives say. The paper details plans to save billions through greater use of social media and innovations such as an online “apps store” for civil servants. The document, entitled Government ICT Strategy: New World, New Challenges, sets out how the government plans to harness computer technology to save cash and improve public services up to 2015. The bulk of the planned savings – £1.6bn – will come from the development of a government “cloud infrastructure” – a way of pooling computer systems which is meant to cut costs and energy consumption. The government plans to launch a prototype of what it calls the “G cloud” early next year, with a standard model to be introduced by the end of 2010. The document also outlines plans to develop 10 to 12 strategic data centres, which it says will bring together “existing public data centres into highly secure and resilient facilities”, which it claims will save £300m a year and cut power consumption by 75%.

According to the Conservatives, the report fails in its aim of showing how the government can get to grips with the “systemic failures in public sector IT procurement over the past decade,” such as the “calamitous” NHS database. Let’s hope that whoever is in Government over the next 5 years spends our taxes more wisely than has been the case in the last 5 years.

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