There has been a lot of chatter since Mike Bracken announced his decision to leave GDS – and today Jennifer Pahlka, founder of Code for America, has added her voice to the many who are questioning what might happen to IT in the UK government in a post-Bracken era.
Some mystery still surrounds the Bracken departure. Some titles have been questioning whether the new Conservative government – or the civil service status-quo – can be bothered with GDS any longer.
Even some of the most vocal advocates of GDS – and Bracken – acknowledge that incumbent “big IT” is still pretty incumbent. And new systems have been rolled-out, post-GDS, that have failed to deliver.
That might not be the fault of GDS, but there is a widely held perception that GDS tends to get involved more in information delivery projects (like .GOV.UK) rather than operational systems that need overhauled. Government as a Platform (much favored by Bracken) may be the means of achieving that.
In part 2 of my interview with Noah Kunin of 18F I ask him about this very issue (the question comes about 3 minutes or so into the video). Noah also outlines how 18F is ensuring the new systems are more rapidly procured, and made fit for purpose for the citizen who might use the systems. Part 1 of the interview is here.