Abstracts: January 24th, 2007

This report from the Chief Information Officer describes progress made in 18 months on the six-year improvement journey for public services. It charts developments in the main strands of the strategy which are customer-centric services, shared services and professionalism.A better understanding of the customer is vital to developing customer centric services and the Service Design Authority has created tools and techniques to allow public bodies to use what they know about what really matters to citizens and businesses. A Customer Insight Forum has been set up to help with the gathering , analysis and use of information about the needs and preferences of citizens and businesses.

Sharing services, knowledge, infrastructure and technology represents a major change for government. By working more closely together, both across and within organizational boundaries, government can save money, reduce waste and move closer to delivering services in the way that citizens want and expect. Local government has already explored shared services in the front office. One-stop shops and the subsequent joining up of back-office functions are a key example of this. Local authorities are also exploiting shared business functions such as refuse collection.

Government needs the skills to deliver the technology-enabled programmes that will transform public services and the Government IT Profession has been launched with the aim of putting such advisers on a par with other policy, legal, statistical or economic advisers. Since July 2005, over 7,000 people have registered with the Government IT Profession and during 2005 a competency and skills framework was introduced that will raise the quality and consistency of assessment across the Civil Service.

The report is available at: http://www.cio.gov.uk/documents/annual_report2006/trans_gov2006.doc