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

Houses of Parliament, Westminster, London

Interview: Conservative peer Chris Holmes calls for a considered but can-do attitude from government on blockchain

27 March 2017

Two sides to the BitCoin? Conservative peer Chris Holmes talks to Rebecca Hill about being positive about blockchain’s potential for public services without seeing it as a ‘wonder drug’.

Truro, Cornwall

A digital front door: Cornwall council’s plan to make up for underinvestment and a failed supplier partnership

23 March 2017

At the start of the year, Cornwall Council’s cabinet approved an £18m digital improvement plan that aims to fix years of IT underinvestment. Gill Hitchcock reports.

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.

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

scientists, user, science, data, analytics

ONS launches Data Science Campus

27 March 2017

The Office for National Statistics has today launched its Data Science Campus in Newport, Wales, to make better use of data and develop the statistical information it provides.

whitehall numbers, statistics, data

Bridging digital skills gap could cost government £244m a year, says NAO

27 March 2017

The UK’s spending watchdog has said that there is a need for “greater urgency” in the government’s plans to tackle skills shortages in the civil service.

Cabinet Office Whitehall

Departments unwilling to accept Cabinet Office authority to centralise purchasing, suggest MPs

24 March 2017

The creation of the Crown Commercial Service was poorly executed and slow take up of centralised purchasing by departments means it only manages one-fifth of the spending it was expected to, a review by MPs has found.

Opinion

Payslip and money Photo: PA

Public sector IT contractors: Focus on value not cost as IR35 hits

22 March 2017

At the end of March, the government is facing a brain-drain as contractors leave the public sector rather than be caught out by stricter tax rules. But Eduserv’s Max Elliott-Massouras says the focus should be on the value of contractors – not their cost.

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. 

Q&A