Tech industry unveils plan to transform delivery of public services

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Britain’s tech industry has launched a three point plan to transform the delivery of public services, responding to public and political concerns about the use of digital technology in government.

The plan, put together by techUK, is designed to bring more industry expertise and knowledge into government, making it a more demanding customer. It also sets out how the industry will work with government to help ministers and officials experiment and innovate more successfully with technology.

The plan directly addresses issues with the way the government and tech industry work together as outlined in the Office of Fair Trading (OFT)’s report into public sector technology, and in an independent investigation of civil service attitudes, which showed officials wanted better value through a better relationship.

techUK members believe the plan can help bring the best of digital technology into government, delivering better public services at greater value to citizens.

The plan has three points:

  1. Better engagement, to support civil servants earlier in the process and help develop policy with technical expertise.
  2. Better information, providing standardised, transparent reporting.
  3. More innovation, giving civil servants the opportunity to experiment and explore solutions in a risk-free environment.

The plan has been made independent of government, but techUK members hope to now work with ministers and officials positively and quickly to discuss the plan and begin implementing it, both at a departmental level and across government.

Julian David, chief executive of techUK, said: “This all about bringing the full power and potential of digital technology into the public sector and improving the lives of ordinary people. As an industry we recognise that we can do better, and we want to help. This plan is designed to do that by improving the way we work with government, flooding it with expertise and knowledge about digital technology and how the tech industry works. It will make government a more demanding customer, and give them the ability to test new ideas and innovations safely without the fear of failure.

“Now we want to move forward positively with government and make this plan a reality. The prize is better public services, and a public sector that is able to make crucial savings in an age of austerity. Everyone benefits.”

The plan comes hot on the heels of the techUK manifesto, published last month, which urged politicians and policy-makers to recognise the critical significance of the global digital revolution, warning that Britain risks being left behind unless it makes changes to the way it uses technology.

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