Feeds

Government needs to bring IT skills in-house

Easier to identify a problem than achieve change, according to committee...

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

A parliamentary committee heard yesterday that government relies too much on outsourcing and needs better in-house IT skills.

Parliament's public administration committee was told that the failure of many UK government technology projects is partly due to being tied into large outsourcing deals with a small group of suppliers. Helen Margetts, professor of society and the internet at the Oxford Internet Institute, said that a lack of in-house capability to take over when things go wrong added to the problem.

Governments in countries such the US, Canada and New Zealand are much better at procuring and managing ICT deals than the UK, Margetts said.

These countries often use local SMEs; Canada, for example, has significant in-house expertise so that government staff can step in if necessary. Margetts said: "You can only get that by recognising the need for expertise in-house and not saying that we have outsourced and so we do not need those skills anymore."

But she added: "No one country has the solution, but there are factors we can draw on."

The committee was meeting to take evidence for its investigation of the government's use of IT. It said that over the years, numerous reports on how government can improve its use of IT have come up with the same recommendations – suggesting that it is easier to identify a problem than achieve change.

Margetts said that action is being take to reduce the size of contracts, but existing deals which are often difficult to change.

She said that government had been very slow in picking up on technology to transform services, unlike many private sector companies which use the internet to find out what the public wants.

This article was originally published at Guardian Government Computing.

Guardian Government Computing is a business division of Guardian Professional, and covers the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. For updates on public sector IT, join the Government Computing Network here.

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
VMware builds product executables on 50 Mac Minis
And goes to the Genius Bar for support
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Multipath TCP speeds up the internet so much that security breaks
Black Hat research says proposed protocol will bork network probes, flummox firewalls
Microsoft says 'weird things' can happen during Windows Server 2003 migrations
Fix coming for bug that makes Kerberos croak when you run two domain controllers
Cisco says network virtualisation won't pay off everywhere
Another sign of strain in the Borg/VMware relationship?
Forrester says Australia, not China, is next boom market for cloud
It's cloudy but fine down under, analyst says
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.