Skills Shortage Key Risk To Government Strategy

According to The Government Digital Service, a skills shortage is one of the biggest risks to it making more than £1.4bn worth of savings.

The GDS has published its business plan for the 2014/15 financial year, listing the key activities, milestones and challenges it faces over the next 12 months.

The budget for GDS has been cut from £21.1m in 2012 to £16.1m this year, despite taking on a number of new staff in that period.

Under a section titled: "Risks to the plan" the document said: "We have insufficient funding, which could mean we're unable to hire the people with the skills we need. We will address this by reviewing the business plan and budget quarterly so that the GDS Operations Board can take action if required.

"We have difficulty hiring and keeping skilled staff. We will address this by: making plans and processes to attract and keep the best digital and technology people; defining clear career paths; identifying development opportunities for staff; reviewing compensation and reward packages to meet market expectations."

The plan states GDS is expected to deliver £700m in efficiency savings.

The document said: "Annual recurring benefits from the exemplars could be around £607m. Annual recurring benefits from other transactions related to the exemplars come to £372m. That's a total of £979m from exemplars and associated services.

"Across [the eight biggest] government departments, we estimate that by digitising all transactional services we could save £1.4bn every year."

By March 2016, GDS is expected to have delivered 70% of the potential savings from the exemplar services.

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