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Wales gets new national digital strategy


Mark Say Managing Editor

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The Welsh Government has highlighted the need for common standards and patterns for public services as part of its new national digital strategy.

The Digital Strategy for Wales includes a chapter on public services that reiterates familiar priorities and says there is a need to revisit the underlying systems and platforms to ensure they are secure and designed around user needs.

It emphasises an intention to work to common standards and service patterns to make it easier for people to access services, and recognises that user centred design is a crucial feature in developing services.

The document outlines a series of intentions including: building services based on user needs and data; embedding accessibility standards; ensuring digital services are safe, secure and trusted; and taking an open and agile approach to developing solutions.

It also sets out outcomes including: services will be available online wherever possible; people will choose to use them because they are convenient; they will be available in Welsh and English languages; data will be used ethically to develop insights; websites and services should be open and accessible to third parties; and services will have a consistent look and feel.

The document emphasises the role of the Centre for Digital Public Services and investments in programmes around digital health, educational technology and infrastructure.

Other chapters in the strategy cover digital inclusion, skills, the digital economy, connectivity and data and collaboration.

Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport Lee Waters said: “Over the past couple of years the Welsh Government has invested in digital transformation in Wales.

“We launched the Centre for Digital Public Services and appointed new chief digital officers for local government and Welsh Government, with one to follow for health. My ministerial colleagues and I have invested significantly in digital health (£75 million), our Hwb EdTech programme (£92 million over the last two financial years and £15 million this year), digital infrastructure (£26 million), digital support for business (£2 million), the Centre for Digital Public Services (£4.9 million) and digital inclusion (£2 million).

“We want to build on this momentum to create modern, efficient, bilingual and streamlined public services and support the best outcomes for future generations.”

Image from iStock, Oleksii Liskhoni

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