The Rt Hon Francis Maude spoke at the Connect Conference, Holyrood’s 3rd annual ICT conference held in Edinburgh this week, reflecting on the success of the UK Government Digital Strategy and the strength of Scotland’s involvement in its delivery.
Digital government isn’t an end in itself or a standalone project - it’s one of the ways in which we will create comprehensive 21st century services.
I’m very proud of the work that some brilliant civil servants are doing to lead this transformation. It’s pioneering, its world leading and I want the whole of the UK to be able to share the benefits.
The Scottish Government has been working closely with the Government Digital Service (GDS) on the development of MyGOVScot – designed to connect the people in Scotland to devolved public services – to establish organisational structure, advise on recruitment and work closely with the Scottish Government to understand more about implementing the UK Government Digital Strategy.
Francis Maude went on to say:
I look forward to following the development of Scotland’s digital agenda. Whether it’s using digital opportunities to engage the public and improve the quality of services, or growing the digital economy and making the most of big data, there’s so much we can learn from each other.
Role of GDS in Scotland
GDS ensure the government offers world-class digital products that meet people’s needs. Mike Beaven, GDS Transformation Director, sits on MyGovScot programme board, supporting the Scottish Government in developing a world class digital service for people in Scotland and increasing digital participation in devolved public services in Scotland.
GDS further support MyGOVScot by sharing a GOV.UK API; this pulls business content through to the Scottish Government website. Alongside constant support there are discussions with GDS on potential improvements and wider uses for MyGovScot.
Digital success in Scotland
GDS are working with Scottish and UK SMEs to help deliver the digital strategy, and pioneering digital projects through the G-Cloud; Scottish SMEs are involved in moving transactional services to GOV.UK.
The first to go live was the new student finance application. It was delivered from Glasgow, thanks to a partnership between the Student Finance Company and Sopra, a technology firm with offices in Scotland and the other parts of the UK. Sopra are now working with GOV.UK on digital delivery and continuous improvement.
The public sector has already spent more than £175 million through the G-Cloud half of which – 60% – is going to small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs). £1.4 million of this spend has funded SMEs in Scotland, these include Stirling-based Swirrl IT that provides Cloud consultancy to the Department for Communities and Local Government.
Opin Systems and Visionware in Glasgow, working with the Department for International Development and Rural Payments Agency, and Farrpoint Ltd, based in Edinburgh who are working with local authorities through the G-Cloud.