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Gerrit Dijkstra and Frits van der Meer discuss the tension that comes with implementing watchdog functionalities

To say that IT projects in the public sector do not always run very smoothly is an understatement. There are more than enough examples, from the IT project for student loans in the '80s, to problems with IT at the tax authorities, the judicial offices and the police in more recent times.

Gerrit Dijkstra, Assistant Professor and Frits van der Meer Professor by special appointment Comparative Public Sector and Civil Reform at the Institute of Public Administration at Leiden University discuss the situation. 'Especially the implementation costs and the disappointing operational effectivity are the focus of attention for civil servants and politicians in the public sector themselves. As well as a growing awareness of the negative impact on citizens.'

Not very user-friendly

'It has to do with both the user-unfriendliness of systems that appear to have been designed more with the interest of developers and organisations in mind but also with the consequences for citizens who are lacking the necessary computer skills,' say Dijkstra and Van der Meer. 'And we haven't even addressed the privacy effects of digitalisation applications such as the use of algorithms on the power balance between government and governmental services and citizens. At the moment we are focussing on the pitfalls in relation to the Dutch Ministry of Interior which is in charge of the BIT and the BIT supervisory committee.'

You can read the full article (in Dutch) here.

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