Audit Scotland, the public spending watchdog, has summarised the issues identified in its previous work on ICT projects across the public sector.
The findings were then used these to design a set of core principles for public bodies to follow. As well as case studies from previous Audit Scotland reports, the briefing also refers to examples from around the world to demonstrate that the issues that Scottish bodies have encountered are common across the globe.
The principles are:
- Provide clear leadership that sets the tone and culture and provides accountability.
- Set individual projects in a central framework of strategic oversight and assurance.
- Plan comprehensively, setting out what you want to do achieve and how you will do it.
- Set up active governance, providing appropriate control and oversight.
- Place users at the heart of the project.
With digital technology increasingly a core part of public services, Audit Scotland is focusing its future work on how well the public sector is using it to improve and transform public services.
Morag Campsie, an audit manager with Audit Scotland, said: “It’s no wonder that as a society, we increasingly expect our public bodies to use digital when delivering services, or that more and more organisations themselves are placing digital at the centre of their plans for future transformation of services.
“However, designing and managing ICT programmes remains a challenge for public bodies. Over the past few years, we’ve reported on a number of ICT projects which have gone wrong or had issues.”
“We’ve now completed that work and we found that the issues experienced by Scottish public sector bodies are no different to those experienced around the world, or indeed in the private sector,” she said.