techUK outlines its plan for better public services.
techUK has today launched a three point plan to transform the delivery of public services, responding to public and political concerns about the use of digital technology in Government.
The plan, put together by techUK members comprised of both large and small tech suppliers, is designed to bring more industry expertise and knowledge into Government and make it a more demanding customer. It also sets out how the industry will work with Government to help ministers and officials experiment and innovate more successfully with technology.
The plan directly addresses issues with the way the Government and tech industry work together, as outlined in the Office of Fair Trading (OFT)'s report into public sector technology and in an independent investigation of civil service attitudes, which showed that officials wanted better value through a better relationship.
techUK members believe the plan can help bring the best of digital technology into Government, delivering better public services at greater value to citizens.
Julian David, chief executive of techUK, said: "This is all about bringing the full power and potential of digital technology into the public sector and improving the lives of ordinary people. As an industry we recognise that we can do better, and we want to help. This plan is designed to do that by improving the way we work with Government, flooding it with expertise and knowledge about digital technology and how the tech industry works. It will make Government a more demanding customer, and give them the ability to test new ideas and innovations safely without the fear of failure.
"Now we want to move forward positively with Government and make this plan a reality. The prize is better public services, and a public sector that is able to make crucial savings in an age of austerity. Everyone benefits."
The plan has three points:
- Better engagement, to support civil servants earlier in the process and help develop policy with technical expertise. techUK members are committing resource to engage much earlier in the process, ensuring officials develop policy with a proper understanding of what technology can do. Previously many in the industry felt they were waiting to be invited to tender for a scheme that might have been designed better.
- Better information, providing standardised, transparent reporting. This will overcome the problems of wildly varying reporting requirements on public sector contracts, which had the effect of making one scheme impossible to compare with another. The industry will agree a standardised data and evaluation scheme, allowing Government to pick and choose suppliers more effectively.
- More innovation, giving civil servants the opportunity to experiment and explore solutions in a risk-free environment. techUK's 'innovation den' model will be used to provide a test platform for new projects, and is designed to overcome the problem of public sector innovation being strangled by the fear of failure. techUK will develop a 'techmap' of suppliers, ensuring Government is aware of all the options available to them.
techUK will now be working with ministers and officials positively and quickly to discuss the plan and begin implementing it, both at a departmental level and across Government.
Please complete your details below to download a copy of our Three Point Plan infographic, and find a summary of the launch event here.