2019 was a huge year for the growth and recognition of GovTech. From the creation of NHSX to the rollout of Spark Dynamic Purchasing System, progress has certainly been made towards improving digital public services. As we enter a new decade, here we take a look at some of our hopes for 2020 and asked the team at PUBLIC what is top of their wish list for GovTech this year.
DOUBLE DOWN ON TRANSFORMING PROCUREMENT OF DIGITAL SERVICES
Daniel Korski – CEO & Co-Founder
In 2020, I want to see government double down on transforming how it sources and procures digital services. Going forward, major investment in both the GovTech ecosystem and the digital skills of officials will be essential: a National School for Government and Technology would give decision-makers the ability and confidence to choose innovative technology that’s fit for purpose. Right now, though, I want to see government chasing the easy wins: roll out Spark to more buyers, emphasise the cost of obsolete systems in any business case for digitisation, explore opportunities to carry the NHSX model across to other departments and bodies, and help local government to take advantage of the opportunities central government has created.
There’s still a long way to go in 2020, and to lose the momentum that has been built up over the last 12 months would be a tragedy.
RECOGNITION FROM NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTIONS
Alex Margot-Duclot – Managing Director, PUBLIC France
I would like to see more and more examples of governments using technology to produce better public services. I hope we’ll have a strong signal from the European Commission, showing commitment to produce in Europe the most innovative and efficient public sector in the world. I hope that GovTech will continue to grow and be recognised by national and international institutions like the OECD or the IMF, after the World Bank last year.
MORE CHALLENGE BASED PROCUREMENT VEHICLES
Chiara Carlini – Programme Manager
This year I would like to see the government develop more challenge based procurement vehicles to foster the adoption of GovTech solutions across public services.
ACCESS TO JUSTICE
Huw Penson – Communications Manager
Having recently joined PUBLIC from legal services regulation, It’s clear to me that there’s the potential for GovTech to play a huge role in access to justice. The Ministry of Justice launched its legal support strategy back in February 2019 with a focus on using technology to support individuals facing legal problems.
In 2020, I want to see Government looking to harness the innovation in the UK’s buzzing legaltech scene, and work with it in order to address the significant access to justice challenges we face as a society.
FUND DIGITAL SERVICES END TO END
Matthew Trimming – Senior Advisor
The new UK Government is already reviewing all projects to align investment more closely to its priorities. It should use this process, ahead of a future Spending Review, to identify how HM Treasury can fund the digitisation of public services end to end rather than in the current fragmented and uncoordinated manner.
GIVE LOCAL AUTHORITIES A HELPING HAND
Edd Elliott – Head of Growth
In 2020, I want to see local authorities be given a helping hand with procuring startups. It is so hard for smart city startups to scale from council to council, and it’s because it is so long and cumbersome for councils to buy new tech products – even comparatively inexpensive products. I want to see new procurement framework SPARK be a success, and I want to see councils band together to form buyer networks where successful innovations can scale quickly from authority to authority, without repeating a full procurement process each and every time.
TACKLE CLIMATE CHANGE
Mia Millman – GovStart Associate
This year, I would like to see the government start looking to innovative technologies to tackle the climate crisis.
MAKE DATA OPEN AND ACCESSIBLE
Lichelle Wolmarans – Research
In 2020 I would like to see the government make data more open and accessible to innovators in order to build products. I would like to see more initiatives like the Department of Transport’s Bus Open Data Service which will provide a huge benefit to commuters in London and Bristol.
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