Secrecy culture must be stopped

July 2004
Computer Weekly;7/13/2004, p24
Trade Publication
It is necessary to do everything reasonably possible to spot the early warning signs of an IT disaster. In the private sector directors do not need motivating to spot the early signs of impending failure. And for the IT staff and directors in public service who see things going wrong, life can be frustrating. They can warn internally of the early warning signs of one, but are unlikely to do so because the culture permits constructive criticism at a level of detail only: nobody can question the project as a whole without being written off by ministers or heads of department as off-message or a Luddite. Compounding the lack of accountability and discouragement of internal whistle-blowing is secrecy. The almost total absence of transparency on schemes costing millions or even billions of pounds can be mitigated by two things: new legislation for the public sector which would provide a statutory framework for accountability, and the publication of independent gateway reviews on the progress of projects in Great Britain.


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