Today the Government is publishing the Government Transformation Strategy 2017-2020. This strategy sets out the Government’s objectives to harness digital (the technologies, culture, skills and tools of the internet-era) to transform the relationship between the citizen and state.
The ‘Digital by Default’ services developed under the previous strategy have helped to establish the UK as a global leader in digital government. However, the opportunity to transform government further, as well as the need to be able to respond quickly to new or changed priorities, mean that our current approach to digitally-enabled transformation of government needs to be accelerated and expanded.
The Government Transformation Strategy defines our vision and ambition for a government that is ‘of the internet’ rather than simply ‘on the internet’. It sets out how government services, and other interactions with the public and businesses, will be improved and enhanced - both in terms of providing service to citizens and in gaining (and keeping) their trust. Digital is the the best way of achieving this.
The strategy sets out five pillars for the future direction of government:
1. Create shared platforms, components and reusable business capabilities: continuing with government as a platform, reducing duplication, cost and increasing efficiency across government.
2. Make better use of data: ensuring that government data is properly managed, protected and (where non-sensitive) made available and shared effectively. To accelerate the transformation of government, and ensure we retain public trust and confidence in our use of data, we will appoint a new Chief Data Officer for government.
3. Business Transformation: developing end-to-end services that meet the needs of their users across all channels, in coordination with a fundamental rethink of back-office operations.
4. Grow the Right People, Culture and Skills: continuing to ensure that we have the right people, with the right skills and training, employed in the right place working in the right way.
5. Build better tools, processes and governance for civil servants: transforming the inside of the Civil Service to become an organisation that is digital by default.
One of the most important and challenging aspects of delivering transformed online services is identity assurance - establishing that the user is who they say they are and not someone pretending to be them. GOV.UK Verify, the government’s online identity verification service, went live in May 2016. We will continue to enable individuals to prove their identity online and to access government services securely and safely. To achieve this, we will work towards 25 million people having a GOV.UK Verify account by the end of 2020.
This strategy also sets out the evolving role of the Government Digital Service to support, enable and assure transformation delivered by government departments. It provides the direction of travel and does not in and of itself constitute any additional spending commitments.
I will place a copy of this strategy document in the House Libraries.