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Labour Sets Out Digital Government Priorities

Labour Sets Out Digital Government Priorities

As the general election gets under way, the labour party has set out its digital government priorities.

Labour has taken a swipe at the coalition for failing to meet its targets for new "digital by default" services and said the Cabinet Office had failed to deliver the 25 digital exemplars it set out in 2012, despite putting millions of pounds into the budget for the Government Digital Service.

Shadow minister for the Cabinet Office Lucy Powell said: "Despite spending on the GDS ballooning, [Cabinet Office minister] Francis Maude has failed to deliver on his promise of 25 exemplar services being live by this March.

"His plans for digital inclusion miss out those most hard to reach and his focus on transactional services means that he has failed to harness the full potential of digital public services in the hands of the public.

"Labour has a better plan for Britain's future. The next Labour government will champion transformed digital services for all, improving the experience of public service users. We will also generate savings for the taxpayer by rooting out unnecessary duplication and waste by working in partnership across the public sector to deliver a joined-up digital agenda."

Labour's report process is to highlight how it intends to spend taxpayers' cash in government, and said it wants to give citizens more control of their own data and how it is used by the public sector.

The report said: "[We will] incentivise the growth of a digital platform for government.

"This will provide a common approach to building and delivering public services while also opening up government data and transactions through interfaces based on open standards; giving people ownership and control of their data while also creating savings by reusing technology and processes across traditional departmental silos."

Labour also cited several examples of "waste and false economy" around IT in government, such as the troubled Universal Credit system. Industry observers have however pointed out that Labour's track record for costly IT failures during its time in government was much worse.


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