Skip to main content

The Government Digital Strategy, and how it was written

This morning Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude published the digital strategy, and I wanted to explain why and how it was developed.

An increasingly digital nation

The publication of the Government Digital Strategy fulfils a commitment made in the Civil Service Reform Plan (CSRP) announced in June. As the CSRP described, the UK is increasingly a digital nation, one in which people expect high quality, effective digital services.

Currently, too many central government services offer a poor user experience, which leads to low rates of successful completion. To improve quality, those services need to be simpler, clearer and faster, and the Civil Service needs to have the right digital skills embedded at every level to do that.

The digital strategy sets out how this will be achieved.

Drafting the strategy

Since June, the 18 Digital Leaders from across Whitehall departments have been working together to draft the Strategy. It's not a GDS document; it's a government-wide strategy. We just held the pen.

The strategy went through multiple iterations, setting out with a shared vision for digital by default ("digital services so straightforward and convenient people prefer to use them"), moving on to a shared high-level narrative and then to a full strategy document. The Digital Leaders network signed off the strategy at the end of September, followed by Ministers giving their feedback and then granting approval for publication.

Clear actions

The strategy contains 14 actions which we have tried to ensure are meaningful and measurable. We recognise that departments are often more different than they are alike, so their departmental digital strategies - due for publication in December - will set out how they will each deliver the actions in light of their own users and services.

We'll be blogging more about different aspects of the strategy over the next few days. In the meantime, please have a read of the strategy and tell us what you think, either in the comments below, or via @gdsteam.

Creating and agreeing a collective strategy is hard work, but everyone's contributions have been challenging and constructive throughout. I'd like to thank all the Digital Leaders and their teams for their support. The strategy includes videos of Antonia Romeo from MoJ, and Ian Trenholm  from DEFRA, while Phil Pavitt will be sharing some of HMRC's exciting digital vision on this blog in the near future.

Finally, thanks to the Digital Advisory Board for their wise words of advice, and to the fantastic team at GDS who supported this work.

Sharing and comments

Share this page


  1. Comment by Tim Berry posted on

    Good News - A much needed resource. Are there any plans to role out this digital strategy to public sectors across the UK who are looking towards the future of online services?

  2. Comment by Digital by default requires a concerted culture change | Digital Health posted on

    [...] The Government Digital Strategy introduces the concept of “assisted digital” as an integral part of digital by default – helping those who cannot or will not access digital information and services. Internet usage and public expectations of digital transactions are constantly rising (according to ONS figures for the second quarter of 2012, 84% of the public have been online), although an estimated 10% of the population will never go online. [...]

  3. Comment by Carl Haggerty posted on

    It is good to finally see a strategy published...well done to all involved.

    Not what I thought it was going to be but this will certainly move things forward

  4. Comment by UK Government Digital Strategy issued | Tony Scott posted on

    [...] The wide-ranging UK Government Digital Strategy has been issued – Tom Loosemore, Deputy Director at UK Government Digital Service, explains how the strategy was written. [...]

  5. Comment by The Government’s new digital strategy | A dragon's best friend posted on

    [...] The Government today published its digital strategy. Tom Loosemore has also summarised how the strategy was put together in this blogpost. [...]

  6. Comment by Irene Melo posted on

    Is there any plans to extend this digital vision down to how Local Authorities should deliver their services digitally?