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Scottish Government plans Digital Partner Service


Mark Say Managing Editor

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The Scottish Government has floated the idea of a series of short contracts with suppliers for its digital transformation initiatives.

It has posted a prior information notice for potential digital transformation partners, indicating that it is looking to set up a Digital Partner Service to support the capability of its own Digital Transformation Division (DTD).

The deals would run for one year with a possible extension of one more, and involve the partners contributing strategic advice and innovation for government programmes.

Any services developed would need to conform to the Scottish Digital First Standard – 22 criteria providing a minimum standard for service development – and be available for re-use across the Scottish public sector.

The move has come shortly after Audit Scotland published a criticism of the national government’s efforts to digitise public services, saying that it needs to show stronger leadership and prioritise work more effectively.

Possible rethink

While the procurement notice was likely framed before the publication of the report, it indicates that there could be a rethink around an incremental approach to the development of new services.

DTD is currently running a number of programmes to underpin new digital services, including the development of an online identity assurance mechanism and a payments platform prototype.

It is working with the criteria of the national digital strategy with priorities that include the introduction of shared technology platforms and the creation of stringent assurance processes.

Image by Benjamin Brock, own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

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