BEIS sets out plans to combat digital ‘trust and credibility gap’

Written by Jim Dunton on 27 December 2017 in News

Department lays out three-year strategy

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has unveiled a three-year action plan to improve its digital offering after accepting a “trust and credibility gap” exists in current arrangements.

According to the strategy, slipped out by the department on the last working day before Christmas, the department’s digital, data and technology (DDaT) function needs to undergo a step change if it is to properly support the department's staff, Whitehall partners, and UK business in general.

The report, authored by BEIS chief information officer Nicola Holderness, sets out a five-point plan for turning around the function within her department by the end of 2020.

“Feedback has revealed a trust and credibility gap for our DDaT function, with a lack of direction of travel for staff and partner organisations, a disjointed approach to the delivery of services and a conflict around their effective use,” the strategy says.

“We need to repair this gap to gain the respect and collaboration of our partner organisations, as well as our policy, compliance and operational teams.”

The vision accepts that the DDaT function is “both less established than other civil service functions, such as human resources or finance, [but] more extensive than just the technical work of specialist teams”.

Its core proposals are creating a culture within BEIS in which “DDaT is embraced, understood and valued”, improving value for money via better use of Government as a Platform components, and delivering more accessible business intelligence information both internally and for public consumption.

As part of the plan, the strategy proposes the appointment of a new chief digital information officer and the creation of a new DDaT leadership team.

It says that as the government’s main interface with UK business, BEIS needs to lead by example and “be innovative and practice internally what we seek to change externally”.

“By harnessing the opportunities offered by the digital age, we can deliver innovative solutions that will make us more internally efficient, that open up government data and that remove barriers to effective use of that data by UK consumers and businesses,” it says.

“This will require us to think differently about how we approach and organise our DDaT capability, develop associated skills, and identify, transfer and promote innovation to business.”

The full strategy document can be read here.

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