Government response

Cabinet Office responds to NAO report on making services 'digital by default'

Response to 'Digital Britain 2: Putting users at the heart of government's digital services' from the National Audit Office (NAO).

The Cabinet Office has responded to the National Audit Office (NAO) report ‘Digital Britain 2: Putting users at the heart of government’s digital services’.

A Cabinet Office spokesperson said:

The government welcomes the Digital Britain 2 report and the National Audit Office’s endorsement of the ambition and leadership we have demonstrated on the digital agenda. We also entirely agree that there is significant scope for greater use of online public services.

Building on the detailed fieldwork the NAO has carried out to support its conclusions, this report provides further independent encouragement for our Digital Strategy. The data demonstrates that making public services digital by default is a vision supported by most people and businesses, and that there is sound evidence that they have the skills and inclination to go online.

In December 2012, we published our approach to ‘assisted digital’, setting out how government will ensure that people who are not online or have lower digital skills are not excluded from digital public services. Although the NAO report notes that this is in its early stages, the government will be developing assisted digital support for 23 exemplar digital services by 2014-15. As part of this work, we will reflect on the report’s recommendations on how to communicate these plans to people who are offline and ensure offline users know where to get it.

Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office, said:

This report firmly endorses the digital transformation of public services designed around user needs that the government has undertaken. Putting these services online, rather than using face-to-face, postal or phone options, will deliver substantial savings to the public purse, and save users time and money. We are developing digital services that are so good people will prefer to use them, while ensuring that those who are not able to go online are given the support they need to do so.

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