Our hopes and objectives
To implement a dynamic program with a static and active element of cost reducing measures. The static part is the objective to reduce costs and the active part is management and constant attention to results with constant progress improvements. A Minister will be given special responsibility for this program and will be required to provide regular public reports of progress including notifications of mistakes and how things have been improved in response. At the end of each quarter officials from each ministry will audit progress in another ministry and report to the minister concerned.
This is not the usual ‘we will reduce waste’ empty promise. Reducing waste will happen as a part of the program but is only a small part. More important is making money work harder and go further. Poor spending is a form of excessive taxation.
The creation and expansion of existing government cloud-based services to facilitate the sharing of software services across the institutions, based on a secure private intranet. Your data will be part of this model. In line with our policy of privacy your data will only be available to the institutions that need it and will be restricted to the individual pieces of data required. Information electronic, written and spoken, its flow and how it behaves will be a key focus.
Automation leaving people free to dedicate more time to the proactive parts and deal with exceptions is important. Office process at all levels will be checked for the simplest improvements. Cumulatively, these can have radical impact. The know-how and experience of junior staff shall be employed to the full. Office teams will be rewarded collectively for efficiency improvements. The principle withholding information that will help towards the better running of the Civil Service shall be considered bad practice and will be discouraged. The principle of ‘the need to know’ shall be replaced by the principle of ‘the need not to know’. Leadership shall be assessed only by reference to results on the principle that respect has to be earned.
The formula to question each existing process and practice on its need to continue in full or in part, and remove or redo as necessary shall be applied.
Provide a greater consistency across government web services for people and businesses.
Cloud services will allow us to centralize processing and reduce the need for continuously update high end local computing. Purchasing and maintenance costs should also reduce. All data will be held securely in the private cloud rather than locally which will reduce the danger of data loss and security issues.
Existing institutions will provide staff and know-how. The aim is to create teams of people with a good knowledge of existing processes and specific requirements. Each level of team will be collectively credited on the way they provide information to their higher teams. It will be considered excellent practice when senior managers are kept informed of anything other teams know to assist everyone in reaching the target of this initiative. A constant focus will be kept on information flow across teams as well as from junior to senior and senior to junior levels with the intention to maximise informed decision taking.
Staff shall be reallocated as automation and centralisation programs take effect along with the impact of improvement in team communication focusing on changes above.
There are frequent public examples of civil service inefficiencies, the more public the institution, the greater the number of examples. We are as much concerned about the less public institutions. Information flow is key to drawing things together- it is the key to economy and efficiency.
These changes will be a significant challenge to the existing management culture of the Civil Service particularly in the move from ‘the need to know’ to ‘the need not to know’.
According to the government website, there are 25 ministerial departments, 20 non-ministerial departments and 388 agencies and other public bodies, all run at public expense. It is our view they can all benefit from adopting modern methods and tools to improve efficiency, including the centralising and sharing of IT services, staff reallocation, information flow improvements and automation