Headlines: April 16th, 1999

Implementation of the Modernising government White Paper will be tightly managed by a Project Board which will steer work across departments. Milestones are being established for all projects and there will be a review of progress in the summer.

Implementation will also be fostered through a number of levers with particular emphasis on joint working. The next round of the Invest to Save Budget will support projects which bring together two or more public bodies in an innovative and more efficient way. The second round will be open to the wider public sector, including local government. Work is in hand to find out how performance measures can be used to encourage joint working.

Levers which will foster implementation on a broader front include peer group reviews across departments to ensure that the principles of modernising government are being implemented, and the creation of ‘learning labs’ to test new ways of working by suspending rules that stifle innovation.

Information technology features strongly in the White Paper which specifies a target that it will be possible to carry out all dealings with Government electronically by 2008. Work is in progress to devise a corporate IT strategy for government that will establish frameworks for issues such as digital signatures, smartcards and websites.