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Report of the Digital Government Review


1. Savings from digital service delivery

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Moving the digitally excluded online and using digital government services would directly save the costs of using more expensive service delivery.

This is the essence of the current Government’s Digital-by-Default strategy. The Government’s own estimate from the Cabinet Office’s Digital Efficiency report [183] is that the savings in direct government expenditure will reach £1.7 billion per annum. It estimated that it was on target to achieve £1.2 Billion savings for the period 2010-15 [184]. Savings are spread across those departments converting to online transactions.

To calculate incremental benefits from inclusion we assumed that the 10% who would otherwise be digitally excluded by 2020 move online progressively throughout the 2015-20 period. We recognize that the pace of inclusion slows at the end as the remaining segments will be the hardest to provide both skills and encouragement to.

The government will be able to realise the savings from online service delivery at the same rate as they are achieving savings from the digitally enabled. The savings for the digitally enabled are stated in the Digital Efficiency Report. We have assumed that government is on track to reach this target by 2020 and have assumed a flat continued increase in these savings with the previously digitally excluded using these services at the same rate as the digitally included. These are new savings that will not be accounted for in existing departmental spending plans.

Savings from digital service delivery

The assumption that the digitally excluded will use government services when they gain skills is backed up by anecdotal evidence from inclusion initiatives. These have found that once someone knows how to get online they very quickly apply their new skills to access government services. The digitally excluded are amongst the most excluded in society, they tend to be those who use more government services than others.

There will therefore only be a short lag between the investment, increased uptake in digital service use and recognising the savings. This, along with the proposed enhanced digital inclusion evidence base, will enable government to monitor the effectiveness of the strategy tailoring the tactics as required.

There are potentially significantly greater savings if we were to include savings in departments that the Digital Efficiency Report did not cover, for example Local Government, Health and Police. We have made no effort to estimate these savings here.

[183] “Digital Efficiency Report”, Cabinet Office, November 2012, at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/digital-efficiency-report/digital-efficiency-report
[184] https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-digital-public-services-will-help-britain-win-the-global-race

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2 comments

  1. disabled overlooked says:

    Where is consideration of training public and private sector interests engaged in info sharing ( and outsourcing processing to non-EU based entities) relating to citizens ‘under the mentsl heslth’ umbrella, including autistic, disabled etc who could also benefit enormously from access to the benefits of digitisation but who seem to be overlooked, esp. by those supposed to be meeting their needs?