Public-private partnership is key

1 May 2013, by Paul Francissen

The government of the Netherlands wants to downsize, but at the same time it raises its demands regarding ICT. How is this going to be achieved?

The key, according to ICT Office and the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations (BZK), is increasing public-private collaboration (PPS). In the beginning of 2012, both organisations drew up a covenant: 'Improving collaboration between central government and ICT business world'. The goal is to improve the quality of ICT projects through collaboration. PPS was given a prominent place.

In the Netherlands, setting up PPS in the ICT domain is a tiresome process. It seems to work for infrastructure projects and site development, but very rarely for ICT projects. This is different in Germany and the United Kingdom, where experiences are much more positive.

Lack of confidence
Confidence seems to play an important part. Or rather the lack of it in the Netherlands. It is rather significant that the covenant starts by establishing that collaboration between government and ICT industry is 'increasingly and unnecessarily burdened by legal issues and procedures'. Therefore, the first action suggested in the covenant is to map the obstacles that stand in the way of PPS.

Very few good examples
Furthermore, it was agreed to start showing best practices from abroad as well as from other sectors, because in the Netherlands only a few examples of PPS can be found in the ICT domain at all. Large scale PPS projects, like the one in the UK between the community of Liverpool and BT (Liverpool Direct Ltd, duration of 15 years, 1100 FTE), do not exist in the Netherlands.