Digital government progress 'painfully slow'

A new report by the Institute for Government argues that the digitisation of government and public services is happening too slowly in the UK.

Improving the management of digital government argues that digital improvements would make government cheaper, more effective and more secure, and that Whitehall should appoint a minister responsible for digital government to advance standards.

The report also warns that the Government Digital Service (GDS) faces resistance from many corners of Whitehall, and, without a strong minister in charge, all not able to drive digital improvements in a way that meets citizens’ expectations.

The Institute for Government urges the government to organise services around people’s needs and urgently clarify which system citizens should use to securely identify themselves.

Daniel Thornton, report author, said: “The recent cyber-attack on the NHS shows that the government must urgently improve digital government. A minister for digital government should be appointed, as it is not yet clear which minister leads this work. What is clear is that progress on digital government continues to be painfully slow. GDS standards have been effective but need to be clarified and extended so that public services can be securely organised around the needs of citizens.”

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