30 April 2007 | Antony Barton
The OGC should be "raised in the pecking order", so it can use its knowledge of the private sector more easily to achieve savings in the public sector.
Edward Leigh MP, the chairman of the Committee of Public Accounts, said the creation of the OGC was a welcome innovation by the government. But he added: "We continually find lessons appear not to have been learned, and although the OGC has an excellent remit and does good work, it lacks the ability to enforce its will in Whitehall."
Referring to the "thousands of committed people of outstanding quality" in the civil service, Leigh told the House of Commons they "have to work with low-quality information, poor systems and inadequate information technology".
Leigh mentioned the recent committee meeting with Ian Taylor, commercial director at the Department for Education and Skills, and the discussion of systems in the public sector. Leigh said: "In his view, public sector people are every bit as skilled as those in the private sector, but the information systems in the public sector are so bad that no private sector firm could afford to put up with them. They would simply go out of business."
He said they do not provide the data that public sector leaders need to manage effectively or to develop robust strategies for delivery.