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Government should focus on using IT more effectively

Government should focus on using IT more effectively

IT contractor accountants may want to tell their clients about a new report from Deloitte, which suggests that the public sector should make use of online channels of service in order to cut costs and improve levels of quality and support.

The government austerity measures are so severe that the public sector must encourage people to find cheaper and more efficient ways to conduct their business.

The report points out that there are some individual successes, such as encouraging people to file self-assessment tax returns online, but the coalition must do a lot more if it wants to cut costs in the long-term.

Deloitte’s public sector director, Joel Bellman, said the public sector tends to think of digital services as add-ons to telephone, paper and face-to-face contact rather than an alternative. Therefore they are only achieving a fraction of the possible savings.

Bellman went on to say that a range of new digital services will be launched in such sectors as benefit payment, education, environment, health, local government and social care.

The report ends up by saying that the coalition needs to adopt a clear strategy for the adoption of online alternatives.

The Chartered Institute for IT (BCS) is also urging the government to focus on using IT more effectively.

At the beginning of the year, the BCS put forward a range of proposals on how to get the most out of its IT infrastructure. At the time, the Institute said that an effective implementation policy had to be done in collaboration with academia and the private sector.

The BCS argued that the government needs to define core standards across all aspects of IT and information management. Effective governance will only come about if the government centralises fiscal and managerial authority and technical leadership, BCS’s chief executive, David Clarke said.

In order to adapt to the austerity environment, it will be necessary to invest in new IT and keep abreast of new technological developments. More government IT professionals should also follow a clear career path so that senior people will be equipped with the necessary skills to manage delivery and relationships, Clarke concluded.

© 2011 All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

Image: write down my name … by josef.stuefer

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