McClelland review of ICT infrastructure in the public sector: our response

Our response to the McClelland review of public sector information and communication technology infrastructure.


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The Scottish Government has a long standing commitment to improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the Scottish public sector. That commitment is shared by our public sector partners across Scotland, and there are already some excellent examples of innovative approaches to improving the quality of services delivered to citizens. Delivering public services more efficiently and effectively remains a key objective, and we will be pursuing a programme of public service reform with real vigour.

The Scottish Government has announced today spending plans for the next three years that will help us deliver our commitments to drive forward Scotland's economic recovery and continue to improve the quality of our public services, but we do so against the backdrop of the toughest financial settlement Scotland has seen since devolution.

We therefore need to work creatively across the public sector and to be relentless in our pursuit of best value for every pound of taxpayers' money that is entrusted to us. We also need to ensure that we are responding to the public appetite for public services to be delivered in ways convenient to them. We therefore commissioned John McClelland CBE to provide a report on the strategic management of ICT investment in the Scottish public sector, achieving better value for money from that investment, and on using ICT to support and drive multi agency working and more effective sharing of services.

John McClelland's Review of ICT Infrastructure in the Public Sector in Scotland [1] was published in June 2011 and I welcomed the publication and confirmed we would consider the recommendations and set out our response in detail. This paper does that. The review concludes that overall ICT investment in the public sector during 2008/09 was around £1.4bn and more than 60% of that expenditure was with industry suppliers. In addition the cost to organisations of the ICT staff was approximately £250m. There are clearly opportunities to reduce spend by improving our approach to engaging with suppliers and procurement across the public sector and by sharing and integrating our ICT requirements and support.

My vision for public sector ICT is one of integrated and shared deployment and use, which enables the public sector workforce to engage with citizens and deliver efficient and effective services on a national, regional and local basis. I also expect citizens to harness the capabilities of digital public services and inform our priorities, allowing us to maximise innovation and skills available in the ICT Industry and the Public Sector throughout Scotland.

Our approach to digital public services, and how we procure them, will act as a driver for achieving our wider digital ambitions for Scotland. We will seek to optimise those wider benefits in designing and procuring services, working in partnership with the industry and wider stakeholders to ensure that we can deliver shared outcomes and support our digital economy aims. We can no longer maintain a self sufficiency mode in the financial climate. We must capitalise on good practice and spare capacity and we must stop duplication of effort.

In setting out the Government's spending plans today, I expect every public sector organisation to demonstrate how they will contribute to the potential savings identified in the review of up to £1 billion over the next 5 years. This report provides an overview of some key activities that are already in hand or under development to implement the recommendations in the review.

John Swinney Signature

John Swinney
Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth


Email: Central Enquiries Unit

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