We need to work on what’s under the lid, says CDDO boss

Departments need to look at technology underpinning front-end services, Megan Lee Devlin tells PublicTechnology Live

Credit: Diana Day/Pixabay

The underlying processes of many government online services need improvement, Megan Lee Devlin, chief executive of the Central Digital and Data Office (CDDO), told PublicTechnology Live in London today.

She told the event that there are currently “pockets of excellence” among such services. “Sometimes entire journeys are great, but more often than not, the front-end is better than what’s under the lid,” she said.

The CDDO, a Cabinet Office unit responsible for government’s digital, data and technology (DDaT) work, has defined what a good-quality online service should look like is in the process of benchmarking 75 key government services against this. It chose these based on impact and number of users, and is working to level these up to a good standard by 2025, as part of a strategy published in June 2022. 

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The strategy also includes government departments starting to move services to the single GOV.UK log-in system by April 2025, which Lee Devlin said all departments have agreed to do. At present there are more than 100 different ways to log-in to various government services.

The unit is also working to improve data-sharing; use of technologies, including a shift from websites to mobile apps; digital skills, making these a core capability for all civil servants; and supporting digital transformation by addressing systemic barriers to such work.

Lee Devlin said that much of the strategy aims to improve co-operation and joint working across central government. Referring to the 26,000 civil servants working in DDaT jobs, she told the event: “We want to be more than the sum of our brilliant parts.”

SA Mathieson

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