The UK government has been urged to rethink its approach to delivering digital public services, accelerate cloud and digital ID adoption, and note what digital government innovation leaders such as China and Russia are doing.
A list of 60 recommendations across various areas from spending and procurement of technology to skills and use of data, as well as the creation of new tech-focused departments and overseeing bodies, is set out in the Proposals for a better digital government report, which has been launched and delivered to the Cabinet Office and Number 10 this week.
The report is an initiative from the Commission on Smart Government (CSG), a project of GovernUp, an independent group of business leaders and former senior civil servants focused on generating research and proposals for reform of digital government. Despite welcoming the UK’s recent appointment of senior digital leadership roles and creating a new digital office, the CSG argues that the country has fallen behind in the global digital arena.
“The rolling IT problems that the NHS has encountered during the pandemic – from the NHS app to the problems during the vaccine roll-out – show that digital underperformance has serious consequences for the quality of critical services and can lead to increased popular disaffection with government and politics,” the report noted.