https://gds.blog.gov.uk/2013/06/04/reforming-governance-in-government-technology/

Reforming governance in government technology

We announced in March that we would reform the governance of our technology provision in central government. We need a simpler, clearer model of governance based on user needs. Those users are our colleagues as well as citizens and this issue strikes right at the heart of the civil service reform programme as well as our digital agenda.

So what are we doing?

So far we have:

  • completed an initial analysis to identify how the current system is put together, and how it's working
  • closed 2 existing boards and put the rest on “pause”
  • created one board that we are publicly committed to - Open Standards
  • communicated the main changes, and
  • monitored the effects of doing these things.

We have also started to identify user needs, to work with and consult digital leaders, department technology leads, procurement leads, finance directors, delivery staff and service managers. We will create user groups to ensure all stakeholder needs are taken into account and that we don’t lose the knowledge and expertise from previous boards.

New approach

The new approach to governance will be transparent and include effective peer review with open and honest feedback from all users. It will be based on clear principles. It will itself be supported by digital technology. It will identify the areas where we can co-deliver more services - create common service provision across government or parts of government - in a more effective way.

How it will help

This will help us make our common infrastructure more efficient and effective. It will help departments get the most out of their existing contracts and to negotiate the end of those contracts that aren’t working for users. It will help us implement less costly solutions for citizens that are based on open standards, that use data effectively and deploy modern technology at a fraction of today’s cost.

It will also help us in building technical capability across government and providing succession planning so that our best graduates and internal talent can use relevant tools to help shape their careers in technology.

What next?

By July we will be in a position to propose a new governance model for the delivery of technology: one that works for the digital government services we are creating. As we develop this model over the coming weeks, I will report on the progress we are making on this blog.

This will be based on user feedback, so please send us yours - and if you have any questions about this process either email me or my colleague David Cotterill.

2 comments

  1. Derek Stanton

    what basic Civil Service mubo jumbo fudge ... all of that done in 6 months!!!

    "monitoring the effect" ... is that like "establishing a sub-committee"?

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  2. simonfj

    Hi Liam,

    Nice to meet you f2f down under. Not sure on the best way to open up this conversation. You'd appreciate the problem of people in the govspace finally getting around to addressing network stuff/service that every imaginative NREN engineer in the eduspace has in their heads, and often invented. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_research_and_education_network

    "Users are citizens which include our colleagues". So if we are to have a common starting point in redesigning, and governing, publically funded networks can we keep my.uk.gov in mind. I'm sure the Big Brother concerns will evaporate as people get an understanding about (inter)networking. Whether we are using/sharing services located on an edu, or gov, domain, technology can't tell the difference. The only difference is that gov must think on a National level whereas edu is Global(ization).

    I guess, from what I read of your groups, progress will depend on where a citizen's PDS - personal data store - is kept, how much storage is allocated, and whether it's viewed as a lifelong learning account or just a place for keeping transaction records.

    In the eduspace, the development of WAYF - where are you from - is well progressed. The most wanted/used service (globally) is called eduroam. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVCmcMZS3uA Obviously these two services are going to seem a long way away from the ideas in your groups.gov.uk. But it does help illustrate the new network model working its way out of/between the research ((inter)net)works.

    You might be interested in this one. http://www.geant.net/service/eduGAIN/about_edugain/Pages/AbouteduGAIN.aspx Might save your OGP playmates having to reinvent Open Government (networks).

    Lastly, I always point gov people outside Europe to this one. http://cordis.europa.eu/fp7/ict/e-infrastructure/docs/geg-report.pdf There's one lovely line. "GÉANT has become not just an infrastructure for e-science but an in-silico realization of European integration". Kinda of explains why you'd want to go the OGP route rather than get our friends in Brussels involved.

    Pity. There are some good people trying to get their bubble's/group's governance opened up, like every government. http://www.slideshare.net/mathew.lowry/do-we-have-an-eu-online-public-space

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