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Government 'must engage frontline workers' in reform

The people who will actually be using new public sector IT systems are often the last to be asked about them, if they're asked at all

The government is putting its IT modernisation agenda at risk by failing to engage frontline public sector workers, according to new research from the Work Foundation.

The study, How ICT,  says the views of frontline workers about IT can help the public services use IT more efficiently and effectively.

But Whitehall managers are failing to listen to their staff despite the fact that two-thirds of the 500 frontline public sector workers surveyed for the study agreed technology can make their job easier.

The study, sponsored by Adobe, says the government needs to engage and consult with frontline staff to ensure their feeling about IT change can be taken into account and that they should be involved in discussions about the design of the technology they will be required to use.

Alexandra Jones, associate director of the Work Foundation, said in the report: "The old cliché — it's not about technology, it's about people — is, in reality, still too rare in practice in the public sector."