WRITTEN ON August 5th, 2009 BY William Heath AND STORED IN Save Time and Money, Transformational Government, We told you so..., What do we want?

Another Jerry Fishenden post crying out for comment from HMG’s blogging CIO John Suffolk. In the killer graph, green line is public sector IT spend, blue line total inputs, and red line is productivity. Click to enlarge:


Grrrrrr! *sigh* This is far from Ideal.

Wibbi our IT investment increased productivity?

Wibbi projects to deliver public services via IT were formally designed to do what we want them to do for those they are intended to benefit?

Wibbi we were open to small-scale “quick wins” and to user-controlled identity and data to the greatest possible extent?

2 Responses to “Government IT spend: Jerry’s killer graph”

Steph wrote on August 6th, 2009 12:36 am :

Interesting – what’s the measure of productivity in this case? Was the IT spend in this calculation aimed at improving staff productivity, or some other output e.g. reducing total staff costs, increasing customer satisfaction etc?

I’m not quite clear what the scale on the left is – is it a rate of change?

It’s quite possible that your interpretation is spot on, but I’m not quite clear that this chart shows it.

Jerry wrote on August 6th, 2009 10:44 am :

The figures are from the ONS publication “Total Public Service and Productivity” Figure 1.2
Total public service output, inputs and productivity estimates, 1997-2007
United Kingdom Percentage Change from 1997. Available online at http://www.statistics.gov.uk/articles/nojournal/TotalPublicServiceFinalv5.pdf.

As to ICT spend, it rarely seems to be anything other than additive or to automate existing poor practice. So-called “e-channels” and “e-services” have been an additional overhead without a consequential reduction elsewhere. They have not generally been used to help rethink and improve the design of public services, or to reduce mid- and back-office headcount. In some areas, additional headcount has actually resulted from the need to service the “new e-channels”.