A year and two months on: we're getting there, says ICT progress report
A long awaited white paper setting out plans to create a "right to data" will appear next month, the Cabinet Office has told UKauthorITy.com. News of the paper appears in a progress report One Year On, Implementing the Government ICT Strategy, published this week.
The report sets out progress made in the 14 months since the strategy's publication, including efforts to end the "oligopoly" of big government suppliers.
Highlights include creating the Government Digital Service in December 2011 and awarding the Public Services Network connectivity framework contract in March this year. Spending controls on ICT contracts have saved £159.6m, the report claims. The report cites recent work to restructure HMRC's ASPIRE ICT services contract as an example of how the government is "working to ensure better value for taxpayers, break up large contracts, and create opportunities for new, smaller companies to enter the market."
On the effort to encourage the use of open source systems, the update reports that an open source advisory panel has been established to help overcome "technical and cultural barriers that have prevented greater usage of open source in central government".
The paper also claims that 57% of departments are already running one or more projects using "agile" techniques, seen as a way of avoiding project delays and cost over-runs. It says that the system being created to handle the new Universal Credit benefit "currently the largest ICT programme in government, continues to innovate on the application of agile principles at the level of a major programme."
As well as the right to data white paper, over the next year the government will publish a revised set of ICT strategy metrics and a digital strategy on how to build on the gov.uk single domain, the paper says.
The paper acknowledges that there are still "challenges to meet". The next three years "will need to see sustained effort to implement the strategy in full". Following an assessment by the National Audit Office which raised questions about resources and staff, the paper says the Government Chief Information Officer (CIO) and the CIO Delivery Board are taking action, "for example by establishing new approaches to resourcing projects; and by putting in place stronger programme and project management."