By Helen Margetts;
This ebook explores the massive effect of data know-how at the governments of the united kingdom and US over the past two decades, interpreting computerization as a device of presidency and significant coverage implications.
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Extra info for Information Technology in Government: Britain and America
Centralised computer systems tend to have a similarly centralising effect on information. At a World Congress on the Internet in Medicine, one specialist advised that ‘more and more public health information is being sucked from clinical systems towards the centre. The effect is that ‘we have a terrible aggregation of sensitive data to which more and more staff have access’ (Guardian, 6 November 1997). Most importantly, any risk associated with information technology can be multiplied throughout government administration, because any governmental organisation that used to operate a bureaucracy now uses computer systems.
Both stages have represented a change in the type of organised expertise required to carry out administrative operations, 22 Information technology in government drawing into the civilian bureaucracies similar actors to those who had long participated in the running of military agencies. Detecting tools Each of government’s four resources may be used for detection as well as for effecting (Hood, 1983:87). Nodality may cause government to receive information in the same way as it may give government a reason to be listened to.
Another noted that ‘by any standard, Government departments are still very cautious and unimaginative users of IT’ (Trade and Industry Committee, 1988: xxxiii). From the evidence presented, the Committee concluded that ‘the government is not leading the way in the use of IT’. Thus the 1980s brought the reversal of a previous trend: the gap was widening between what government could potentially do with computers and what it was actually doing. Both governments had lost an early role as innovators, except in a few discrete instances (outlined in Chapter 1), and developments in the public sector were in general lagging behind those of the private sector.