The much anticipated and long awaited Government Transformation Strategy (GTS) was published last week by Ben Gummer MP, Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General, The strategy provides a clear and solid framework for the future direction of public services transformation, looking ahead to 2020 and beyond.
The priorities identified in the Strategy are all sensible and highly relevant. They include back-office redesign, a focus on securing and retaining the right people and skills, better use of data, cross-department collaboration, developing Government-as-a-Platform and internal government transformation, giving civil servants the right work tools.
So far so good. The ambition, vision and aims are all spot on. It is also clear that the market has been listened to and the more ‘collaborative’ style of engagement with all is welcome.
However, as the GTS document notes, that is not to take-away but build on the very significant progress towards digital government and public services transformation over the last five years.
What next? Here’s our take on two areas in the Strategy that GDS and departments should prioritise:
Right people and right skills: the GTS aims to tackle deep change, transforming the way Government operates, from the front end to the back office. To do this, it needs to urgently develop a plan for ensuring greater investment & focus on developing the right commercial skills and understanding to enable a genuine partnership with industry and in doing so create a level playing field. The likely impact of IR35 needs to be urgently understood and gaps addressed.
Transparency & strong engagement: as a centre of digital expertise, GDS needs to take a leadership role and support departments to develop early market engagement mechanisms into their business planning as well as give civil servants the skills to have a robust and effective dialogue with suppliers based on transparency and trust.
Home grown British tech companies, large and small, are the engine of our economy. The Industrial strategy launched earlier this month makes an explicit commitment by Government to using public procurement to drive innovation and deliver more diverse supply chains. The benefits are clear – allowing Government to harness industry expertise and knowledge to become a more demanding customer as well as help commissioners and policy makers experiment and innovate more successfully with technology.
Computacenter are proud to be working with the UK Government and challenger new entrants like us have an important role in the delivery of the Strategy and in ensuring UK remains a global leader in its approach to public service delivery. We will support the implementation of this strategy both directly as a supplier to the public sector and through our leadership roles with industry body’s techUK and CBI.
Let’s now work together, on the detail and the plan, to deliver the transformation we all want.