Civil servants should face mandatory IT training to help them understand the "impact and implications" of information technology, a Liberal Democrat policy paper has proposed. The paper, entitled 'Preparing the Ground: Stimulating growth in the digital economy', said that many ministers and civil servants do not "get" information technology and that civil servants should be given annual IT training.
The paper recommended that "all civil service and local government managers, in all departments, above a certain grade must undergo a serious period of initial training in the impact and current implications of IT, and that this must be refreshed annually".
The paper also praised the appointment of Mike Bracken as the government's executive director of digital, the development of AlphaGov and the suggested improvements to e-petitions, but said that more could be done to ensure civil service managers understood the potential of IT.
The training would fall under the banner of a proposed new government office, incorporating the existing Chief Information Officer, to advise and oversee all major government IT procurement projects
On the formation of the new office and training of civil servants, the report concludes: "The gap in skills across government and the civil service is now so severe that major action is necessary."