Tuesday, June 05, 2007

I shred; you ignore senior officials; they find a new job

The massive failure of several multi-billion pound government IT projects has been well-documented. The Public Accounts Committee has today published a report pinning blame on the high turnover of senior civil servants in charge of such projects, with half novices to the role; and on a lack of oversight from ministers, who met senior officials in charge of "mission critical and high risk" projects fewer than four times per year in 48% of cases. And as the Daily Telegraph adds: "There is often an air of starry-eyed naivety about Whitehall's contract negotiations with private sector companies, many of which must be laughing all the way to the bank."

The government's response? Rather than improve the transparency of the IT procurement process, they have ordered Treasury civil servants to shred papers relating to the ID card project "gateway review" rather than release them under the Freedom of Information Act.

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