A change to both skills and culture
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We are not trying to tackle civil service reform in this document (that is a task for others) but this is a closely related topic. And investigating it begins with a two-fold question: what are we trying to achieve; and what needs are we asking the civil service to support to make this a reality?
In answering this, skills and inclusion come first. We need to bring basic digital skills to the whole population while continuing to build excellent digital services in central government. But we also need to focus digital expertise on services with a high social impact, including those with a combination of frontline and online services.
In parallel to this, we need to rebuild trust and revitalise data sharing and data analytics initiatives following a public review of our principles for using data. We need to inject a greater consideration of ethics into digital services and encourage greater public participation in both policy and service development; otherwise, there will be no rigorous underpinning or coherent civic basis for framing technology’s promise.
We need to increase the speed of digital transformation in local government through increased collaboration both locally, with people and communities, and also nationally, between authorities and central government. We need to build a common platform and architecture for digital government, whilst providing greater opportunities for small businesses and making more informed procurement decisions.
We believe that these activities will make for a better government: one that is more responsive and suited to people’s needs. And we know that this change cannot happen unless government supports and works with its public sector workforce; and unless the public sector is seen as a place for those with passion and talent to work, develop new skills and help their society.
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