Bloomberg makes the point that government is not tech-savvy. In reality, they are, but they have not embraced technology in order to virtualize government. The Affordable Care Act is the first step in delivering government over the internet in ways that have not been done before. Sure, there are many sites that deliver information. The Social Security site even delivers individualized information, as does the Medicare websites already in service. But so much more of government could be virtualized, and it is not. We don’t need federal office buildings in every state. We need computers in libraries, and call centers for citizens who need to interact. It is a big step, but the savings are enormous.
Civil servants trained in policy know little about digital technology; as a result, they can’t ask hard questions or pitch in to help. Many are risk-averse, too, and complacent when it comes to large technology projects. Government technologists, for their part, may have no experience with modern project management and design methods. They usually aren’t at the policy-making table; instead, they’re brought in after decisions have been made and left to interpret the shifting demands of the tech-blind lawyers and economists.