Over the past years, as a consequence of the impact on society created by the recent huge corporate collapses and, more recently, the ongoing economical crisis, the concept of Corporate Governance has become central in the economical, academical and institutional debate.
At the core of this debate the attempt of rethinking and shaping the Corporate system and mechanisms in a way that “instill in companies the essential vision, processes and structures to make decisions that ensure longer-term sustainability”. (Vice President, Business Advisory Services, IFC).
This mandate is valid not only for the business actors but also for the Public Sector whose role, it is to create Public Value, through developing resonable policies while meeting various stakeholders needs and responding to the increasing demand of accountability, fairness and trasparency.
This paper focuses on analysing the governance failures of one of the most innovative and promising UK Government Information Techology project: FiReControl.
Started in 2004, FiReControl was meant to be the future of Fire and Rescue Service. Instead after 7 years it was cancelled and branded as "one of the worst cases of project failures " in UK Government's history.
It is argued that the failure of the project have been of two types (1) Uneffective engagement of the primary stakeholders and (2) Lack of Leadership and management skills. The idea is that a lack of engagement of the primary stakeholders, in the FiReControl specific context, impacted negatively on the overall performances of the project and worsened a leadership model that was already weak. Questions have been raised also from a stakeholder theory perspective.
The information used to examine the case and its failure was drawn from different sources both official and non-official .
Specific evidences emerged from FiReControl are to highlight, according to the Geertz's principle of “Local Knowledge”, issues which could offer insight in providing guidelines and useful ideas for reflection on Public governance.
1.1 The FiReControl Project: aims and Characteristics
The case project we are going to analyse is called FireControl. It was a challenging IT UK Government project started in 2004, under the Labour Party. Run by the Department of Community and Local Government (henceforth the Department) and lead by the former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, FireControl aimed to create Public Value.
Its declared aims were: improving public security, through strenghtening resilience, efficiency and capability of the FiRe and Rescue Service (henceforth FRS) across England, while saving costs.
FiReControl, developed in the aftermath of the 9/11 event, meant to enable the FRS to respond to terroristic attacks, flaws and any national disasters in a more effective manner than ever before.
It consisted of three main elements (1)Accomodation, consisting in the replacement of 46 local control rooms of the Fire and...