During a speech at the Connect Conference in Edinburgh last week, The Minister claimed that the “UK is already one of the most digitally advanced nations in the world.”
“By using small suppliers and building much more capability from within, the UK government is undergoing a digital transformation,” Maude claimed.
“It offers the public a remarkable proposition – faster, more convenient services, tailored around the public’s needs, delivered at lower cost to the taxpayer and in a way that boosts some of Britain’s most innovative and exciting businesses,” he added.
To support his claims, the Minister claimed that the government’s open data portal, Data.Gov.UK, has helped to promote openness – a “key principle” for public service reform.
In his speech, the Minister said that the portal is the largest resource of its kind in the world, holding over 14,000 data sets with more being added “all the time.”
“That’s supporting a thriving community of digital start-ups and tech-based companies that can use this data as the raw material for new ideas and solutions, new products and services, cultivating new markets and creating new jobs in the process,” Maude claimed.
GOV.UK saw all online government information moved to a single, easy-to-use location, while the exemplar services represent Whitehall’s 25 biggest transactional services, transformed into systems that are user-focused and easy to carry out online.
Maude claimed the most recent exemplar to go live, Individual Electoral Registration, is bringing the UK into the 21st century.
“We’re not merely creating digital services –we’re designing a digital government for the future, truly 21st century services, capable of meeting the needs and aspirations of the British people now and in the future,” he said.
Maude used his speech at the conference as an opportunity to publicise the positive effect digital government is supposedly having on SMEs.
“Digital government isn’t just about saving money or cutting the deficit, vital as both those tasks are,” the Minister claimed.
“It’s also about stimulating new businesses and ideas that can push the UK economy further forward,” he added.
To support his claims, Maude spoke about recent G-Cloud sales that show 60% of sales are going to SMEs and the “red lines” published in February that intended to break up the “oligopoly” of large IT suppliers.