Public administrations have to understand the importance of ICT for their core processes, and must be able to implement ICT themselves, a Dutch government advisory group says. Dutch politicians, policy makers and officials are underrating the importance ICT, the group writes: ‘Government digitalisation requires a radical reversal of attitude.’
The report by the study group for information society and government aims to provide a basis for setting up a multi-annual government-wide digitisation programme. This requires investing in ICT expertise, including understanding the link with policy and public service implementation. Digital talents should be attracted to all levels of government.
According to the report, the Dutch government must bring its ICT expertise on a par with the commercial sector. The government should also take charge of developing and managing its own ICT. Digitalisation of the government creates opportunities to improve service, for economic growth and an open government”, the group writes, whereas neglecting the digital infrastructure jeopardises the functioning of the government.
The report, published in April, is written by 13 ICT policy experts from the commercial and public sector. They recommend following the UK’s 'Government as a Platform policy'. This includes embracing open ICT standards and breaking-up large-scale ICT projects into small reusable services and components. The group promotes the agile development method, experimenting and creating public development projects that involve citizens and the private sector.