Peter Orszag, Director of the Office of Management and Budget in the White House, wrote on 28th June that IT improvement was needed to increase spending efficiency and service quality in government.
Saying that federal government “lags far behind on efficiency and service quality […] wasting billions of dollars a year” he calls for reform of IT systems to ensure value for taxpayers’ money. Foreign assistance is a prime example of where IT systems must be reformed if aid effectiveness and value for money is to be improved.
However, this is not an area which can be properly addressed by individual governments acting independently. Development is an international issue, and aid comprises international flows of resources. As such this element of public spending requires a global approach so that donors and recipients can communicate and coordinate their plans and budgets. To this end we would urge the U.S. to sign up to the International Aid Transparency Initiative, and act on this commitment to harness technology to avoid the continuing inefficiency with which public money is spent and aid is delivered.