The Foreign Office has explained in a newly released strategy how it aims to improve its management of information over the next 4 years and become better, cheaper and greener in the process.
The strategy acknowledges the Foreign Office will spend less on IT and telecommunications over time - running costs will be some 30 to 40% lower compared to last year. But it still intends to provide better services to its staff so they in turn can work more effectively for ministers and the public. The FCO plans to do this by:
- modernising the information technology infrastructure
- ensuring information is available to staff where and when they need it
- improving training and awareness of how best to use technology in day to day work
- and making substantial savings through rationalisation and modernisation of technology The Foreign Office’s Chief Information Officer David Meyer said:
“The IT used within the FCO is far better now than 5 years ago thanks to great work by my predecessors and staff across public and private sectors. We’ll build on that success by using the most modern and efficient ways of giving users what they need to do their jobs, drawing on best public and private sector practise in the process. Staff in UK and in more than two hundred FCO offices around the world will be linked by better telephony, video conferencing and secure computer systems than now. But by making these services less complicated and more integrated they’ll be cheaper; they’ll reduce our carbon footprint significantly; and they’ll be more accessible to staff with disabilities. What I’m seeking is for all our staff to be able to focus on the information, not the IT.”