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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/government-transformation-strategy-2017-to-2020/government-transformation-strategy-government-beyond-2020
The majority of the transformation programmes on the Government Major Projects Portfolio (GMPP) are scheduled to be complete by April 2021.
Although many of the current portfolio of departmental transformation programmes will be complete by that time, transformation is a continuous process and the work that needs to be done is evolving constantly. Transforming the citizen experience of government will continue, at each stage making best use of leading practices and technologies as they develop.
While the current programmes are very challenging and need the full support of government to be successful, we will also spend a proportion of our time beginning to plan the work we will carry out post 2020.
Transformation programmes typically have a long lead time, so it is critical that we begin to explore the work that will be conducted during the next Parliament, so we can take advantage of progress in technology. This will put us in a much stronger position to maintain the momentum on transforming government services and the way government operates, in line with the policy priorities of the government post 2020.
What we expect to see
Nobody can predict what the world of 2020 will look like. Technology moves quickly and changes constantly. However we do expect what we call ‘digital’ currently to be largely mainstream by then.
Rather than thinking about specific technologies, we will take action now to become more adaptable to change and respond quickly to rapidly changing circumstances. To guide this, we will focus on principles we can be reasonably sure of:
- we will continue to focus on user needs, but with an increasing focus on providing services that are personalised to meet the needs of individuals
- we will continue to focus on building trust in government’s use of personal data to enable service transformation
- we will reuse more standard components, platforms and capabilities across the whole public sector (and beyond, wherever appropriate)
- we will increasingly use data to make decisions, both to inform policy and to iterate rapidly the way services work, based on updating evidence and data continually
- we will monitor emerging security threats and any security issues raised by new technologies closely
- we will identify emerging technologies that are of interest to government and build shared understanding and demonstrate how they can help government continue to transform services, as well as identify potential ethical and privacy implications
- we will need to be more flexible in the way we organise ourselves to respond more quickly to a changing world - this means having the tools to work effectively across boundaries and ensure that we collaborate to serve the citizen
With these in mind, we can plan our next steps as a leading digital government.
There are also some macro trends that we will need to respond to, both on a societal level and in the way government operates. For example, we will investigate:
- how best to coordinate to deliver joined-up service as we increasingly devolve power to regions and nations
- the transformative potential of artificial intelligence and machine learning
- public sector use of health data and wearables
- appropriate use of biometrics
- risks and opportunities arising from the Internet of Things
- how we can best audit and assure both the use of algorithms in delivering government services, and the guidance and legal framework for use of algorithms in process automation
- opportunities to better use geospatial data and Earth observation data
- as we increasingly devolve power to regions and nations, we will co-ordinate how best to deliver joined-up services
We will ensure the work under this strategy continues to align with the way that new technologies are disrupting other industries, for example the significant shifts in transport, such as drones, driverless cars and advances in rail technology.
Our ambition is to show how central government can lead innovation in the public sector. To do this we will consider how new government capabilities can be useable not only by central government and the wider public sector, but also by third-party organisations.
The parliamentary cycle is longer than the fast-paced technology sector. Wherever it is safe and appropriate to do so, we will find ways to start using and learning from these new technologies within the scope of current programmes.
What we will do now to prepare for the period after 2020
We want to make the best possible preparations for the post-2020 period. We will use current and emerging sources of data so that we can understand what is working well for the current transformation programmes and combine this learning with emerging macro-trends to make the best possible plans for the period after 2020.
To prepare for this, we will:
- work with departments to collate the benchmark data needed to understand how each department and its arm’s-length bodies currently work - especially in terms of business, service and technical architecture - so we can make more informed choices about future trade-offs or transformations
- continue to map the current transformation programmes across government, joining them up with the single departmental plans, so we can understand departments’ capacity and capability for managing future transformation - and work together to set the level of ambition against other constraints such as the availability of key skills
- map out expected future transformation work to identify cross-departmental dependencies, so that the centre can provide appropriate support
- understand the external environment, including macro changes in people’s needs of government and opportunities from new technology
- develop a vision of what digital government could look like in the future - and use this to agree what the level of ambition should be