WRITTEN ON December 7th, 2005 BY Alex Morrison AND STORED IN Uncategorized
A couple of points to add to the debate.
Luckily these can now be much shorter than planned because Stefan M has taken so many of the words out of my mouth. I strongly endorse his points.
Para 18. Lists a number of measures that have been taken to address the failings of the past but there’s no evidence that these have in fact worked. Experience with projects like the CSA and Job Centres seems to suggest that there are many many problems still remaining. Sorting out delivery failures might reasonably be taken as the number one priority.
Para 19. No mention here or elsewhere of the opportunity represented by outsourcing systems development work to the developing world. I wonder why not.
Generally – underlying the strategy is a model of service – the Government serving the individual citizen who lies back and enjoys his or her treatment. I’d like to suggest an alternative that would chime with comments elsewhere – suppose instead we thought about the purpose of all this being to empower people to get what they need to help themselves.
Two purposes are served by this switch a) it becomes clear who is/are really the agent(s) in the process and b) it reminds us that this is about people in networks of relationship not just individuals. My wife’s tax return involves me and our accountant. My mother’s stroke involves her whole family, friends and helpers etc…. Systems designed from this perspective would be truly helpful.
Even more generally – the document talks the talk of user choice and user engagement but there’s no sign that the authors have taken their own medicine. What do people really think about Government and technology ? What do they need and what are the genuine priorities ? I’m not at all convinced by the thinking exposed by the document in its present state.
And finally is it just me or are the pictures on the front cover extremely creepy ?