Content

Editorial

Pickles confirms plan to change electronic agenda rules

26 February 2014

The government has confirmed that it is planning to legislate to allow councillors to be sent agendas for council meetings electronically.

Features

A picture of Kevin Cunnington, Director General of the Government Digital Service

Interview: GDS leader Kevin Cunnington on 'self-help groups', spend controls and cold water swimming

16 March 2017

After a tumultuous first six months as director general of the Government Digital Service, Kevin Cunnington has finally got the long-awaited Transformation Strategy off his desk and is looking forward to an office move. He tells Rebecca Hill about Whitehall “self-help groups”, reforms to spend controls and cold water swimming.

Local councils ‘should be at the forefront’ of national cyber security

24 January 2017

This time last year Lincolnshire’s IT systems were taken out for five days after a cyber attack. The council’s information management lead Richard Wills tells Gill Hitchcock why councils are a target and how good communications can keep systems safe.

Colin Cook, Scottish Government

Interview: Colin Cook, Scottish Government acting director of digital

23 January 2017

Colin Cook, the Scottish Government's acting director of digital, says that the devolution of powers from Westminster presents opportunities to build digital-first services.

Interview

Luton Council

In it for the long-run: Why Luton council signed a 10-year ICT deal

7 March 2017

Luton Borough Council chose to renew its IT contract rather than go with a new provider. The council’s technology lead tells Gill Hitchcock how it shifted to an outcomes-based approach – and why a flexible 10-year contract can still be a good deal.

Geoff Connell at Socitm

‘The skill set for any CIO is the same’: Socitm president Geoff Connell on moving from borough to county

11 January 2017

Geoff Connell took up his role of CIO at Norfolk County Council in August last year. Rebecca Hill asks him how he found the change from the London Borough of Newham, and finds out what’s on his to-do list.

News

Scottish flag

Scottish digital strategy set out plans for assurance, training and common platforms

22 March 2017

The Scottish government will implement a “tough” assurance process for digital projects, mandate the use of common technologies and offer training to make sure civil servants “get digital”.

A wall of post its

GOV.UK education taxonomy enters beta as work begins on environment content

22 March 2017

The Government Digital Service’s GOV.UK taxonomy has entered beta for education content, with plans to develop branches for environment and transport content next.

Person hacking computer

ICO: Councils need to sharpen up on data protection ahead of GDPR

22 March 2017

Survey shows lack of preparedness as data protection watchdog slaps £60,000 fine on Norfolk County Council

Opinion

Whitehall sign

If you make bold decisions, you have to execute them well: Five lessons for getting transformation right

20 March 2017

Aingaran Pillai, CEO and founder of open source software company Zaizi, says that governments need to make bold decisions on digital - but make sure they're executed properly. He offers his top five tips for digital staff here.

Two measuring tapes

Keeping tabs on transformation: Why tracking progress will be crucial for success

2 March 2017

A lack of benchmarking data on digital transformation programmes in government makes it hard to evaluate success at a time when it has ever been more important, says Jane Roberts, strategy director at TopLevel. 

decision-map

Algorithms in decision-making inquiry: Stephanie Mathisen on challenging MPs to investigate accountability

28 February 2017

The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee is to investigate the use of algorithms in decision-making, an inquiry chosen as part of the committee’s crowd-sourcing project. Stephanie Mathisen, campaigns and policy officer at Sense about Science, who pitched the idea to the MPs, explains why the field needs more scrutiny.

Q&A