Information Technology in Government: Britain Andamerica

Information Technology in Government: Britain Andamerica

Information Technology in Government: Britain Andamerica

Information Technology in Government: Britain Andamerica

Synopsis

This book situates information technology at the centre of public policy and management. IT is now a vital part of any government organisation, opening new policy windows and enabling a vast range of tasks to be carried out faster and more efficiently. But it has also introduced new problems and challenges. Four in-depth case studies demonstrate how information systems have become inextricably linked with the core tasks of governmental organisations. The key government departments examined are: * the Inland Revenue Service and Social Security Administration in the US * the Inland Revenue and Benefits Agency in the UK

Excerpt

When we look into the ambiguous essence of technology, we behold the constellation, the stellar course of the mystery.

Martin Heidegger

Information technology has been heralded as a new fairy godmother for government. Politicians in the 1990s compete to associate themselves with the magical effects of her wand, which they claim will wave in the new age of government and an end to the ills of administration. in the United States, Vice President Al Gore, who first coined the phrase ‘information superhighway’ in 1977, announced: ‘With computers and telecommunications, we need not do things as we have in the past. We can design a customer-driven electronic government that operates in ways that, 10 years ago, the most visionary planner could not have imagined’ (NPR, 1993:121-2). He promised to connect every classroom, library, hospital and clinic to a ‘national information infrastructure’ by the year 2000. Politicians in Britain rushed to follow suit. in 1995 both Ian Taylor, Conservative Minister for Trade and Industry and Chris Smith, then Shadow Minister for National Heritage, described themselves publicly as the ‘British Al Gore’. Michael Heseltine, Deputy Prime Minister, claimed that information technology would bring ‘the nervous system of a new order’ to education (Guardian, 14 November 1995). After the 1997 election, the new Minister for the Civil Service, David Clark, was quick to promise that ‘Information technology will underscore our new Government programme. I look on information technology as the vehicle of opportunity for realising our aims in a coherent and dynamic manner’ (Computing, 26 June 1997). At the first party conference after the 1997 election, the new Prime Minister Tony Blair announced that within five years, 25 per cent of dealings between the public and the government would be done electronically, through television, telephone or computers. and in 1998 he followed up an earlier promise that ‘the information superhighway’ would form a key plank of educational policy (Herald, 21 March 1997) with the announcement of a deal with the head of Microsoft, Bill

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.