A leading Tory MP has launched a stinging attack on Downing Street's Transformational Government strategy for delivering public services, labelling it "sinister" and "an end to privacy" for all citizens.
Shadow immigration minister Damian Green outlined the three main aims of the initiative during a speech to right-wing think tank the Centre for Policy Studies yesterday. The strategy was originally launched by Tony Blair in 2005.
Green described the promise of IT services designed around the citizen and business as "largely cosmetic", and referred to the idea of broadening and deepening the government's IT and professionalism as "largely comic".
The member for Ashford also condemned the third aim of promoting a "culture of shared services to release efficiencies" as "highly sinister".
"It has its roots in a false analogy with the private sector, which has indeed used ICT to provide services more efficiently and cheaply," said Green.
"The difference, of course, is that in almost all industries any private sector operator cannot compel us to use its services. Government can not only compel us to use them, but can change the rules, and the terms and conditions, whenever it suits."
Green believes that this has led to an increasingly large number of government databases and soaring costs.
"Even the government cannot provide an accurate figure for the cost of its Transformational Government programme," he added. "Yet only about 30 per cent of government IT projects succeed."
The attack comes just a day after Green's colleague, shadow home secretary Chris Grayling, criticised the government's DNA database, saying that the Brown administration had been dragging its feet over implementing changes to comply with European Union law.
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