Fast progress on digital agenda

Of all the agendas set out last year in the government’s Civil Service Reform Plan, the fastest progress is being made on ‘digital by default’, a CSW survey has found. Over half (53%) of civil servants said their organisation is making rapid or steady progress on this agenda, and 55% said that the reform would 'dramatically' or 'significantly' improve the civil service.

By Suzannah.Brecknell

04 Jul 2013

Coming in second was the work to create five shared centres for transactional services, seen as having made rapid or steady progress by 40% of respondents. However, most were not enthusiastic about this reform’s potential to improve the civil service. When asked how the ambitions set out in the reform plan would, if achieved, affect the civil service, just 27% said that creating shared transactional services would dramatically or significantly improve its ability to deliver government priorities and serve the population.

The reform seen as having most potential to realise these aims was the plan to focus resources more closely on departmental priorities and stop work on other areas: 65% of respondents said this would dramatically or significantly improve the civil service. Second was streamlining policymaking, named by 56%; and third was making services digital by default, with 55%.

Asked to rate their department’s progress on prioritising departmental workloads and stopping low-priority tasks, 50% said there has been slow, minimal or no progress in this area – making it the answer gathering the highest proportion of negative responses, despite respondents saying that this reform has the greatest potential to improve performance.

Collaborative policymaking and streamlining policymaking came in as the joint second-slowest areas of progress, with 44% giving negative answers – though again civil servants back streamlining, seen as the second most valuable field of reform.

Progress is also seen as slow on management information, despite its strong potential to boost performance.

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