WRITTEN ON August 11th, 2009 BY William Heath AND STORED IN Transformational Government

John Suffolk’s blog isn’t taking comments from me for some reason (nothing personal I’m sure). So I’ll put my latest on his latest here instead:

John – delighted to see you pick this up Jerry’s gauntlet with a thorough and reasoned post.

You say “This seems hugely simplistic” …but there is a straightforward choice to be made. The salami-slicers will come out to a much greater extent than we have seen to date. Do they cut IT budgets? Or do they invest in IT to save money, against a track record where the case is far from proven?

There’s more to it, of course. But the choice is a fair one to present.

And when you say

> The second option of cutting the administration and overhead budgets again happens today

…I think the point is it isnt working well enough. The evidence is the scale of the public sector deficit. No-one’s saying that people in departments aren’t going through the motions. Your budget may be only .068 of the problem, but there’s a very big problem.

We need an addition to your “blend of approaches”: what is affordable, within sustainable levels of taxation, without bankrupting the state? (It would be nice to be able to say a level of taxation which is globally competitive and doesnt nationalise so much charity and social care but for the next decade this is surely about financial survival.)

And the Cabinet Office/CIO budget may be a small share of this all, but the figure you offer is hardly a reflection of the influence and grandiose scale of schemes like Transformational Government.

We need a government’s IT strategy that underpins the transition to an affordable Whitehall.

We’d also like one which doesn’t ride roughshod over our legal rights to privacy and data protection, appearing to dismiss civil liberties as an irritation.

Small point: Jerry’s is not a Microsoft blog. He’s now freelance.

Looking forward to the next installment.

PS I forbore to comment on it before, but the new typeface is a great improvement!

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