Despite spending around £16bn per annum on information technology, Whitehall and Westminster often see IT as a necessary evil: a risk to be managed rather than an opportunity to be exploited.

Information technology should be a transformational force, a tool to enable government not only to improve public services but to dramatically improve the relationship between citizen and state.

The Institute has made recommendations for improving government IT – notably by adopting the agile and platform approaches - and is tracking progress on the changes set out in the recent Government ICT strategy.

IfG Reports on government IT

Installing new drivers: How to improve the government’s use of IT (2009)
Examined whether the 'centre' of government (the Cabinet Office, Treasury and Number 10) is able to ensure that IT enables government to meet its objectives effectively and efficiently.

System error: fixing the flaws in government IT (2011)
Report recommending that government adopt a new approach to IT: platform and agile.

At the launch event (video and transcript available) in March 2011 it was welcomed by the Cabinet Office COO and the Government CIO. Its recommendations were reflected in the Government ICT Strategy.

System upgrade? The first year of the Government ICT Strategy (2012)
One year on look at the leadership of the changes set out in the Government ICT Strategy.

The report was launched at an event in July 2012, where it was welcomed by Andy Nelson, the new Government CIO, as “very fair and very balanced”.

Further resources

Learn about IfG’s work on government IT

Our involvement in government IT and research methodology.

Join in the debate

We are facilitating a LinkedIn group.

You can share your thoughts on Twitter, using the hashtag #ukgovit used for ICT-related events and general ICT-related discussion.

Read the key government documents: ICT Strategy and beyond (March 2011 and after)

General information on the Cabinet Office website.

Detailed documents on the ICT Strategy, including the Strategic Implementation Plan and individual strand strategies.

Cabinet Office review One year on: Implementing the ICT Strategy (May 2012).

Learn what others are saying

NAO report on Governance for Agile delivery (July 2012)

NAO report 'Implementing the Government ICT Strategy: six-month review of progress' (December 2011)

House of Commons Public Affairs Committee report on Government ICT (July 2011)

NAO report on Government ICT (February 2011)