Strategy for ICT management in central government

The Danish Minister for Public Sector Innovation has presented A solid ICT foundation – Strategy for ICT management in central government. A strategy which over the next four years will improve central government authorities’ work with ICT.

If the ICT portfolio of central government is to remain a solid foundation for the development of the welfare state in the future too, this means that all central government authorities must take greater responsibility for their ICT systems being administered in a reasonable manner, and for their digital projects being managed securely and properly. The new Strategy for ICT management in central government will support this with 13 specific initiatives.

Development, implementation, and running of the strategy’s initiatives are deeply rooted in the Danish Agency for Digitisation.

Ms. Rikke Hougaard Zeberg, Director-General of the Danish Agency for Digitisation:

It is necessary for those of us working in central government to have control of the absolutely fundamental issues when it comes to development and operation of ICT. The projects have to stay on track, the systems must be maintained on an ongoing basis, and the staff need to have the right skills. This is the prerequisite for us being able to keep providing an efficient, secure and user-friendly service to citizens and businesses alike.

The Strategy for ICT management in central government defines five common objectives that central government authorities must abide by in their ICT management. Each objective is underpinned by initiatives designed to help central government authorities get better at ICT management.

Central government authorities must be in a position to collaborate with private suppliers in a competent and responsible way, not to mention possess the expertise to see and utilise the value that ICT creates for their activities.

According to Ms. Zeberg, it is absolutely crucial for central government management teams to lead the way:

ICT is now such an important part of the government’s core tasks that it is absolutely crucial for central government authorities to step up and take on responsibility for ICT. In many areas central government is doing well, but there are still a number of authorities facing a huge task to improve the quality of their ICT management.

As part of the strategy, a new framework is being established which will set out how central government authorities should work with ICT. All central government authorities must in future follow the national ICT systems management model, and all central government organisations must undergo regular reviews of their ICT systems management by the National ICT Council. This means that the management teams of central government authorities must in future be capable of defending the decisions they take about the governance of their ICT systems.

According to Ms. Zeberg, the Strategy for ICT management in central government is a signpost for how central government can weed out the problems and create a solid ICT foundation as a prerequisite for the continued evolution of the welfare state.

It will be a long, tough road, because there are many problems that need to be overcome and a lot of working procedures that need to be changed. With 13 specific initiatives, the ‘Strategy for ICT management in central government’ is the first critical step to success.