The government has reviewed progress on its Digital Strategy, 1 year on from publication. Its report concludes that sound progress has been made against the 4 key areas set out by former UK Digital Champion Martha Lane Fox.
The report says that the government has:
- established digital leadership in government; both through building expertise in Government Digital Service (GDS) but, more importantly, by helping departments get the right people with the right skills into the right roles
- built a world-class government web presence, GOV.UK, which makes it simpler, clearer and faster for users to get to the services and information they need
- started to make a real impact by transforming 25 high-volume and high-profile services across government; currently, there is 1 service with live elements (Student Loans Company), 15 are in beta and 6 in alpha
- secured agreement from ministers to start exploring how to open up government transactions so they can be delivered easily by commercial organisations and charities; and make information available wherever people are on the web, by syndicating content
- ensured no one gets left behind as government goes digital by default; by helping departments think about what they can do to help people get online, and also what they need to do to assist people who may never be able to
Today, the Cabinet Office also announced some updates to the strategy.
2 new actions, to be included as actions 15 and 16:
The 2 other revisions are:
- the November 2012 Strategy committed to completing the transition of agencies and arm’s length bodies websites to GOV.UK by the end of March 2014 – the end date will be revised to July 2014
- following the discovery stage on Exemplar number 20 (Criminal Record Check), GDS and Home Office have agreed that there would be more opportunity to effect transformational change by March 2015 via another service – they are provisionally investigating HM Passports Office and will report back
Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General, said:
This government has a long-term plan to build a digital-by-default world with services designed around the needs of users. We know that to compete in the global race, we need world-class public services. And by slashing the costs of public services we will help pay down the deficit.
I’m delighted by the progress civil servants in GDS and their colleagues across Whitehall have made in the year since we published the Digital Strategy. Over the next few months it’s full speed ahead for our digital transformation work. Some departments have made more progress than others, but what this report tells us is that the digital revolution Martha Lane Fox talked of has taken hold.
Mike Bracken, Executive Director, GDS:
The last year has seen us take unprecedented steps in making government digital by default. By working with departments, we are doing things that no government has ever accomplished.
I’d like progress to be more consistent, but we should feel more proud of a year that has seen services improved, taxpayer money saved, civil service digital capability boosted and a greater variety of partners and suppliers working with government.
Read the Digital Strategy annual report on GOV.UK.