The complex nature of the modern public sector means that receiving, processing and storing vast amounts of information is no longer the domain of a single unit. The use of information to improve decisions is the responsibility of every public servant. The cost of not focusing on information is no longer just financial. Fundamentally, the public sector is becoming more streamlined, service orientated and citizen centric. This means a huge shift in how the public sector currently manages government administration and delivers front-facing services to the community. Public sector reforms continue to identify the need for:
- greater involvement of its citizens,
- increased capacity to provide strategic advice in addressing difficult policy challenges,
- enhanced capability of the workforce including a new, more consistent approach to employee performance and,
- commitment to efficiency and quality to ensure that agencies are effective, capable and agile, and able to plan and improve their performance.
Traditionally Information Management (IM) has been seen as just another information technology (IT) project. History tells us that IT projects are often beset by risks. An IM project must transcend the technology domain. Information holds transformational potential if it is accurate, timely and aligned with critical business decisions.
GWI presents a generic model to highlight the differing and competing perspectives of all stakeholders that must be considered. We define this as the Public Sector Information Management Value chain. The model provides a perspective on how value can be derived from information in the public sector.
Factors of every day risk from left to right, are always prevailing; these impact upon how the public sector environment operates. These risks commonly translate into constraints for all those in the public value chain including the public.
These functions appear as the right facing chevrons in the center, the public on the left driving the demand, through to the supply end – the operational workforce (teachers, doctors, police officers, social workers, corporate office).
Below this, are the requirements of each function of the value chain. Each function has the opportunity to achieve more if provided with more timely, personalised and accurate information.
If each function focused on their information requirement as part of a single value chain, the attributes of the information reward, for each function will counteract the everyday risk and constraints.