In March 2011, the Coalition Government set out a vision for Government ICT at the heart of delivery of efficient, cost-effective public services which are responsive to the needs of citizens and businesses. We identified a series of challenges which ministers, departments, Chief Information Officers, IT professionals and other civil servants faced in using ICT to meet the requirements of a modern state. We set out a programme for:
Making government ICT more open to the people and organisations that use our services, and open to any provider – regardless of size;
Reducing the size and complexity of projects, and better manage risks;
Enabling reuse of existing ICT systems and ‘off the shelf’ components, reducing duplication, over-capacity and saving money;
Moving towards a common infrastructure in government, increasing efficiency and interoperability;
Reducing procurement timescales and making it easier and simpler for SMEs to compete for government business, supporting the aspiration that 25% of Central Government procurement spend should go to SMEs by the end of this Parliament (2015); and
Improving the implementation of big ICT projects and programmes, and supporting the IT profession in government and the public sector.
This report sets out progress one year into implementing the Government’s ICT strategy. A number of significant successes have been chalked up, including the launch of the Public Services Network frameworks; the launch of the Government Digital Service; and the creation of the CloudStore. These are still early days for implementation, but progress has been good, as noted by the National Audit Office.
We also demonstrate this Government’s commitment to transparency and openness by the publication for the first time of a range of metrics relating to ICT in government. These will be developed to provide a more consistent benchmark for future years, demonstrating how uptake of the strategy is progressing. The next set of metrics will be published in October 2012, and we will report on progress again in Spring 2013.