This report published by the Institute for Government, UK, says that after five years of getting more services online, UK government is hitting a wall. But despite some public services still running on last century’ s computers, the real barrier to progress is not technology but the lack of political drive from the top.
According to the report, although the technology exists, outdated practices and policies mean that, in the case of many government services, we are still filling in and posting off forms to be manually processed. Taking digital government to the next level ‘“ which the report says would satisfy citizens and potentially save billions in the process ‘“ requires leadership. Civil servants need to improve their skills, old systems need to be overhauled, and policies need to be updated.
Daniel Thornton, report author, said:
Tinkering around the edges of digital government has taken us only so far ‘“ now we need a fundamental change in the government’ s approach. The starting point is recognising that digital is not just for geeks anymore ‘“ everyone in government must work to make it a success. There are huge potential savings to be made if the Government gets this right ‘“ which makes it all the more disappointing that the PM and Chancellor have not been as explicit about their commitment to digital government as their predecessors.
The report have identified five challenges that government leaders must tackle in order to implement digital reforms successfully:
- Moving from small changes to transformation
- Bringing policy and implementation together
- Tackling IT legacies
- Adapting project governance
- Building a digitally capable workforce, and keeping it