Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Digital Technology

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 5th November 2019.

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Photo of Norman Lamb Norman Lamb Chair, Science and Technology Committee (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, who is responsible for digitisation in his Department; and what mechanisms the person with responsibility for digitisation uses to champion digitisation.

Photo of Christopher Pincher Christopher Pincher Minister of State

GDS leads the Government's Digital, Data and Technology (DDaT) function, helping departments build and run services that are digital by default and focused on the needs of citizens.

The FCO makes use of digital, data and technology across its operations and diplomatic work. Examples include a small Digital Transformation Unit, which works with our consular technology teams on the delivery of modern, accessible online consular services, fulfilling the government's 'digital by default' commitment. The Department also has an Archives Management Team within the Knowledge and Technology Directorate who are responsible for the digitisation of public records in line with The National Archives' (TNA) requirements; and an Open Source Unit which leads on using open source data in policy making. To aid internal behavioural change, we established a Work Smarter campaign in January 2018, aimed at helping staff get the most out of digital technology, and we are working to set up the Digital Data and Technology Profession. A member of the FCO Board acts as the Champion for improving our release and use of data in all aspects of our work.

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