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Minister warns against IT defeatism

Invents 'default nostalgia'

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Cabinet Office minister Pat McFadden said there is still a strong case for government investment in IT.

McFadden, who is the lead minister for transformational government, said in a speech on Wednesday that problems with major projects should not deter the government from continuing to look for new ways to use technology to improve service delivery.

"If things go wrong with government IT we should hold our hands up, fix the problem or learn the lessons," he said. "But it would not only be factually wrong to say this was the case for all government investment in technology; it would also represent a damaging national defeatism about the future.

"People's empowerment is not going to go backwards. We cannot allow the belief to take hold that somehow government cannot be part of this change, that we should be frozen in time, that creative people can never suggest ideas or drive through projects to improve the quality of service to the public or make their lives better because someone says it won't work.

"That would be an appalling national judgement to make and would hold us back as a country."

McFadden added that it is fair to criticise the government when it gets things wrong, but that it would be a mistake to adopt a "default nostalgia" and shy away from trying to do things better.

This article was originally published at Kablenet.

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