When Governments Have Got Not Enough Money

Public project funding crisis ? Refer to here and here and here.

UK prime minister; Mr. David Cameron talked (The Next Age of Government) about how to manage the country with a lower budget. The solution is IT.

Who is going to fund public projects when the government is cash tight ? Comes from end users ? Who is going to maintain it ?

My suggestion is that we need to find a large team of human resource who can work long hour on lower than median income basis.

Obviously, private business entities will not be able to fill such role. NGO can't either because NGO is dependent on private sponsors. Charity organizations will have larger human resources capacity than private companies or NGO, however, I am not sure if they should get involved with public administration.

This leaves only one option, the public servants.

Thus, the future of IT for public services will be open source, open standards and projects will be funded by end users.

Support works will be taken over by public servants and not by private business entities. What about development work ?

In the long run, it is possible that public sectors will sponsor more public servants to learn up ICT development work much to a larger extend as compare to current scenario. In short term to medium term, I think development work will still have to be filled up by private entities.

This is actually not a good thing for the big boys like Microsoft, SAP and etc when public sectors do not have enough money to service the public anymore. But ICT is still much needed. The question is how ? As David Cameron puts it: "how do we make things better without spending more money?"

So standards, best practices, are definitely going to rule.

For Malaysia, it will be up to MAMPU.

Nevertheless, as irony as it may sound, public funds are actually end users' money;tax.

So, conclusion for now is.
  1. IT is needed to mitigate budget problems, but you need money for IT implementations.
  2. Not only we need to think about open standards and best practices, we must also look at the issue with maintaining the IT implementation at a lower cost.
  3. In other words, we need to use cheaper solutions to cut cost.
  4. Public service needs robots and automation, however, the core purpose of public service is to protect the interest of the people. Means that public service cannot go about large scale retrenchment drive just to cut cost.
  5. To hire someone to sit there and do nothing is not recommended, but in this scenario, top guns are not affordable.