The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has responded to criticism that there are deficits in generic leadership and change management competencies in local government technical management. Some 100 places are to be made available to ICT managers on the Future Leadership Programme run by Ashridge Management College. This is a self-development and leadership programme for mixed groups of senior managers from local authority service departments and other business areas. 1000 managers are expected to complete the three-module, 7 day, 3,500 pounds programme over the next twelve months.The ODPM and the Society of IT Managers have agreed on plans to embed e-Government and transformational change competencies into the Future Leadership Programme. This development recognises heads of ICT are frequently responsible for setting the strategic direction for e-government, as well as for developing the technical infrastructure and delivering operational services.
The capacity gap was identified earlier this month in a report from the e-Government Strategic Support Unit in the Local Government Improvement and Development Agency. The report was commissioned by the ODPM. It revealed that most heads of ICT in councils moved into the role because they already headed the technology division. Specific criticisms included a lack of understanding and awareness of the potential of the e-government agenda and the role of technology in business improvement, lack of agreed corporate vision or strategy, inadequate change management, initiative overload and poor programme management.