Tuesday, 14 July 2009

IT, Data And Human Rights

Technology will always advance, so the political debate is always about shaping the direction of progress to ensure it is to overall the benefit of society.

Eton & Castle councillor Liam Maxwell wrote a recently published Centre for Policy Studies report explaining exactly where he thinks government IT policy has gone wrong.

He reminds us that only 30% of IT projects commissioned by government actually work and argues that as only one in every four-hundred contacts between government and the public use online services back-office administration offers huge potential savings equivalent to over £16bn per year.

He says "at bottom Labour just doesn’t get it" and states that this is partly a political and cultural issue.

Not only could it halve the annual IT spend, but by "giving us back our data will save us money, make government IT more effective and make the delivery of services better."

Meanwhile The Guardian investigates how the Human Rights Act regulates the use and access of data in different public sector departments.

They report that people with ongoing suicidal feelings who were released from hospital in West Berkshire without access to support were able to be provided with help because of provisions for Human Rights assessments. Elsewhere Bracknell Forest was one of five local authorities across the country to be given funding for the Rights Respecting Schools scheme which was described as a lifelong "guide to living".

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