EXCL: Work starts on £6m cross-government digital system for civil servants to move between departments

Fujitsu awarded contract to build platform that intends to enable transfers ‘at pace and without friction’

Work has begun on the creation of a new multimillion-pound digital system to be implemented throughout government that “simplifies, streamlines and automates” the process of civil servants moving between departments.

Recently published commercial documents reveal that the Cabinet Office today entered into a four-year £6.3m deal with Fujitsu. The deal will see the tech firm work with the central department to build a “new digital employee transfer service [that] will enable all civil servants to move from one department to another – at pace and without friction”, according to the terms of the contract.

“The service will be used by all civil service organisations including arm’s length bodies and non-departmental public bodies,” the document added.

PublicTechnology understands that the platform is intended to put in place a centralised system through which,when a government employee moves to a job in a different agency, their HR data automatically moves with them. Currently, most of the processes required to support these transfers are manual and, often, on-boarding procedures must be replicated each time a civil servant changes roles, if the new post is in a different part of government.

In addition to eliminating time-consuming manual operations and improving services for agencies and individual staff, the digital service is also hoped to reduce instances of errors in payments of salaries or other benefits.

The project to deliver the new platform – and manage the service after it is launched – will be led by Government Business Services, a unit within the Cabinet Office that includes a range of centralised operations – including shared services, the Government Recruitment Service, and civil service pensions.

The plan is for a small number of departments to test the new employee-transfer system during a pilot exercise this summer. Feedback provided by users following this testing phase will be used to inform plans for the a gradual rollout throughout government over the coming months and years.

A core building block of the platform will be technology from enterprise software vendor ServiceNow, the contract indicates. The deal covers the provision of enough licences for the vendor’s product to support “up to 24,000 HR users per annum” across government.

Sam Trendall

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