Hancock Promises Digital Improvement In First Speech

May 26, 2015

The new Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General Matthew Hancock has made his first speech in his new role, promising digital improvements during the Conservative government.  

Hancock revealed that the Major Projects Authority will be sticking around to review and manage large government projects such as the troubled Universal Credit scheme and the Government Digital Service (GDS) will continue to deliver digital benefits.  

"Famously, GDS is leading the world in making real the benefits to citizens offered by digital; the biggest revolution of our times," the Minister claimed.  

"We have made progress on commercial skills and procurement, thought there's more to do. Our Fraud Error and Debt team is well placed to improve performance on these, so taxpayers money goes where it should, and debts are collected in a joined-up way," he added.  

Hancock also mentioned a single government communications plan, where communications become a group effort and strong boards in each Department draw on outside expertise to challenge and scrutinise. 

Budgetary Challenges  

However, he believes that the biggest challenge the new government faces in delivering on its promises is delivering them on an appropriate budget. 

"If Whitehall were a premier league football club we in the centre would be the backroom team: the sports scientists, the physios and psychologists working with the players to get the best possible performance on the pitch," Hancock claimed.  

"Where the analogy falls short though is unlike a top team, we have to do it at the lowest possible cost. To provide the foundation for a strong economy we need to deliver a surplus. So we need £15 to £20bn further savings by the end of this Parliament," he added. 

According to the Minister, who replaced Francis Maude, civil service reform is the only way in which these cost savings will be achieved.  

The GOV.UK platform, the Verify identity assurance programme and an "agile approach to service delivery" are key elements of this.  

"A civil service that's more open, innovative, collaborative, unified, empowering, forward-thinking, flexible - truly national, aspirational, transformational, talent-spotting, nurturing, tech-savvy, diverse and socially mobile," is the aim, Hancock claimed.  

© 24N.biz


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