The Council’s roots may be traced back to the explosive growth in Information Technology, from the mid-1950s, when computers were applied for the first time to many of the major administrative governmental tasks and activities. This presented many complex issues: the sheer size and complexity of operations in such areas as tax, health administration, and education; the demands of public accountability in terms of cost and timing; government procurement policies; and privacy considerations.
Most developed countries were experiencing similar problems although differing in both scale and scope. The need to be able to exchange experience and information was recognised but no entirely successful mechanism to do so had been found.
The earliest (1962) recorded attempt to meet these needs and provide computer capacity, was the establishment of the ICC (International Computation Centre, later known as the Intergovernmental Bureau for Information Technology, IBI), an UNESCO initiative. It was seen to concentrate on activities which did not fully meet the needs of government IT, and its membership was considered costly.
The idea to establish an organisation for knowledge and experience exchange on IT use in the governments was first presented at the international symposium held in Jerusalem in 1967. The initiative was presented by Aaron Gertz, then Chairman of the Interministerial Committee on ADP in the Israeli government, and H. Reinoud who held a similar position in The Netherlands. The formal establishment of the organisation was arranged to take place during the IFIP conference in Edinburgh in August 1968.
The first ICA conference in 1968 was attended by representatives from 13 countries as well as observers from IAG (IFIP Administrative Group), IULA (the International Union of Local Authorities) and the Council of State Governments in the USA.
During the conference, the organisation was officially founded under the name of ‘Intergovernmental Council for ADP in Government Administration (ICA)’.
The first board members were: Dr Herb Grosch (USA) elected Chairman, Jack Tiffin (UK) Vice Chairman, and Aaron Gertz (Israel) Secretary General.
In 1986, due to convergence of telecommunication and computer technologies and the organisation’s global growth it was decided to rename the organisation. At its 20th conference in The Rhine the name was changed to International Council for IT in Government Administration.
Its original name - abbreviation ‘ICA’ had deeply made its mark that it was decided to keep the short name as a tribute to the long history and prosperity of the organisation and is to date used in the logo and other materials of the organisation.
In 2016 ICA celebrates 48 years of existence. Through these years ICA has organized 49 conferences in more than 30 cities in the world and has had 22 chairmen. Furthermore, 2016 marks a Golden Anniversary year for conferences as we celebrate the 50th Conference in our history. A more detailed account of the ICA history may be found in the History document.
In 2019 ICA changed its legal status to become an international non-profit association with its home base at Belgium.