The government should appoint a public sector chief information officer (CIO) to oversee technology implementation and evaluation, according to Gartner.
European governments are too focused on the financial rather than social benefits of IT, warned the analyst group.
Gartner research vice president, Andrea Di Maio, said the public sector CIO should be responsible for reviewing and evaluating planned projects, establishing priorities for completing initiatives, and making sure the government uses IT to deliver value.
"Responsibility for technology adoption is currently spread too widely across government, to the point of there being little or no joint responsibility at all," he said.
The UK government will spend $19.6bn (£11.7bn) on IT in 2003, up four per cent on 2002, according to forecasts by Gartner. It will then steadily increase this amount to $22bn in 2005, when many e-government deadlines are due.
The research indicates that the UK spends more public money on IT than any other government in western Europe, with $1.5bn the average annual IT budget for all other European governments in 2003.
"$20bn per year is a lot of money," said Di Maio. "That is a lot of hospitals, schools and trains.
"Technology has the ability to deliver fantastic improvements across society and is an asset equally worthy of investment, but governments must prove that it has broader benefits to the people that pay for it, or they risk public disillusionment."
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