Lib Dems express doubts over Conservative’s ICT strategy

The Conservative’s £5.5 million ICT Strategy was voted through at the Council meeting on Thursday night. The strategy involves building up a more comprehensive database of information about residents and switching to providing Council services via self-help through the web, and is a key element of the Conservative’s transformation programme.

Speaking on behalf of the Liberal Democrats, Cllr Phil Challis expressed his doubts about the strategy: ‘We do agree that an ICT Strategy is required. You only have to look at the Council’s current website to know that. But is this the right strategy and has it been properly thought through?

‘ICT consultants are great at selling you the future but how often is that future actually delivered? Government and business ICT projects at all levels fail with amazing regularity. And they often cost a lot more than was first budgeted. This ICT Strategy lacks any analysis of the risks of the something going wrong.

‘Another of our concerns is about confidential data being lost. This Strategy does not properly cover the increased security that is needed if the Council is holding more of our residents’ personal data all in a single computer database.

‘The Tories are pinning their hopes for the future on the transformation programme, which is fundamentally linked to this ICT Strategy. I hope for the sake of all our Council Tax payers that their faith in this strategy is well-founded.’

Published by Woodley & Whitegates Liberal Democrats, 26 Farriers Close Woodley, Reading RG5 3DD.

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