Culture minister Ed Vaizey, who has a responsibility for digital delivery among his responsibilities, has criticised government departments for going it alone with their technology instead of co-ordinating.
Reported in Public Technology, he suggested a “pause” to think about just where some of this technology was leading.
He stressed that there was no intended criticism of colleagues or departments, but citing examples like the digital health initiative he offered veiled warnings about an unco-ordinated approach.
IT professionals both from the public and private sectors will be aware of the risks he describes. A well-intentioned innovation in department A can all too often be incompatible with the APIs in an implementation for department B, with different procedures for testing. The result can be opaque to incoming staff and more importantly if a department is merged with another, or if its IT function is outsourced, it can be difficult to achieve a smooth transition.