I am delighted to serve on the Advisory Board of the Digital Government Review ‘Digital Britain 2015’ being conducted for the Labour Party, that was launched on 12 March 2014. Throughout my professional career I have provided advice to both the UK’s main political parties in government and in opposition, from within the civil service and without it, whilst remaining non-partisan. This appointment is a continuation of that work.
I hope to bring to the review my experience of national strategy, good and bad. And my experience of working with remarkable people on the ground in communities the length and breadth of the country. As well as an international perspective formed through the OECD and EU and my work with the Indigo Trust.
The advisors will of course listen, gather, assimilate and analyse evidence prior to making recommendations. My own thinking continues to evolve, but for indications of the background against which I shall do this, please look at my post from 2011 about mutual support and advice in a shrinking state. And a discussion of future strategy for open data from 2012 . In these posts I discuss the need for a greater grass-roots, human component in policy development, a focus on how people are using technology, or could do so to improve their daily lives.
To avoid any perception of a conflict of interest I decided to stand down from the Government Digital Service Digital Advisory Board prior to taking up this new appointment. I discussed this with Mike Bracken CBE, Executive Director Government Digital Service and his team who accepted my resignation on 10 March 2014. I greatly enjoyed working with GDS who are doing remarkable things to transform Whitehall’s staid approach to public services and delivering better services for less money. I have also declared my membership of the Advisory Board as an ‘interest’ to the Chair of the Crime and Justice Sector Transparency Panel on which I serve. I have written a fair bit about my work on that panel and find it hard to see a perceived conflict, but they have gone off to check the rule book and of course I shall abide by any decision.
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