IT policy is not exactly the sexiest policy area a few months before an election. However, given IT underpins nearly every aspect of our everyday lives now, it should be on the radar of anyone aspiring to play a role in public policy.
Recently the Government published a draft IT strategy, which was pretty woeful in both its ambition and challenging of the status quo and largely panned by industry experts.
The Conservatives launched the Make IT Better website, attempting to crowd source an element of their own strategy, while the Centre for Technology Policy Research has launched a collaborative wiki to work on the Govt’s draft.
All this activity cannot be a bad thing, but it does raise a question about how much crowd sourcing is healthy - especially as far as Government policy is concerned. There is a need to consult the public and experts in policy formulation, but the formulation of concrete policy is something that cannot be done ‘out in the open’ so to speak - it requires both a degree of political and practical interpretation that most would not concern themselves with.