Public Services > Blue Light

Government Computing focus for the rest of 2017

Published 31 May 2017

Once the General Election on June 8 is over, what issues will Government Computing be keeping an eye on editorially throughout the remainder of 2017?


The following are broad indications of some of the key topics we will be examining post-Election in Government Computing. When we created our guideline for the first half 2017, we said it was not intended to be an exhaustive, rigid ‘features list’ and would be updated constantly as events develop throughout the year.

One of those events was Theresa May’s decision to go for a snap election in search of her own mandate with the Brexit negotiations in mind. That will reset the legislative agenda for the next five years. It has already driven lists of manifesto pledges from all parties as part of the election campaign. In ten days’ time, we’ll know who won the election, and have a clearer picture of which of those pledges will need to be turned into policy, with any subsequent policy design, legislation and IT needs factored in. If Labour wins, then the change will be a significant one.

With that in mind, here is a guide to some of the areas that are likely to be covered – in news, features, blogs and invited guest/paid for opinion pieces as the year develops. Some of these will offer specific feature opportunities which be detailed nearer the time. The agenda below however should not be treated as ‘cast in stone’ and may always be subject to change.

Six months ago, it was clear that Brexit would be continually in our thoughts, especially with negotiations with the European Union beginning soon after the election. But there will be other key issues too: the implementation of the government’s Whitehall (digital) transformation plans, including the role of the Government Digital Service and the progress of GOV.UK Verify for example. There is also the development of health and social care integration, not simply paying for it, but in the wake of the recent cyber attack, ensuring secure IT governance both in the NHS and throughout the wider public sector.

Given the recent terrorist attack in Manchester, what impact might there be on the way the police and other crime fighting agencies are funded and operate?  This is not to mention the impact on other blue light agencies. With the emergency services in mind, we will be keeping a continued close eye on the rollout of the Emergency Services Network, both in regard to the police forces and rescue services implementing it, but the vendors involved in its delivery.

In the NHS, digital and technological incentives cut across the Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) and present unique opportunities and challenges for both footprint areas and those who engage with them in the delivery of services. The STPs are the overarching strategic document within the health and social care sector in England and all decisions (clinical, operational and technological) will lead back to the direction specified within the plans. We’ll be keeping an ongoing eye on the STPs and on NHS Digital’s progress under Sarah Wilkinson’s leadership.

We’ve had the ‘signal’, if that’s the word, for the implementation of General Data Protection Legislation (GDPR) in May next year, with all its implications for public sector organisations, and so GDPR and the role and power of data in the public sector, will be high on our agenda. We will also be keeping an eye on cloud adoption, public sector ICT developments around the world and on innovation and the role of SMEs in the delivery of government ICT.

June:  A new government: its policies, people and the impact on Whitehall; the Infosecurity Europe conference and cybersecurity and following the recent cyber attacks, IT and cyber governance: Departmental focus: Ministry of Justice; Brexit negotiations; Government ICT worldwide; SME Agenda

July: Continued fallout from the General Election and focus on the new government; data sharing; Brexit negotiations; GaaP and identity assurance: GOV.UK Verify, Pay and Notify; Government ICT worldwide; SME Agenda

August: Departmental focus: the Ministry of Defence; cybersecurity and the NHS; IoT; Home Office biometrics; focus on Whitehall CDIO/CDDT roles; Government ICT worldwide; SME Agenda

September: The Government Digital Service; Emergency Services ICT; Departmental focus: Defra; the future of government ICT frameworks; Labour Party Conference; cyber security and IT governance; NHS Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs); local health and social care; Government ICT worldwide; SME Agenda; an expected decision on the direction for an online identity solution to access NHS services

October: Departmental focus: HMRC and Making Tax Digital; data analytics including city data analytics; Conservative Party Conference; Government ICT worldwide; SME Agenda

November: Departmental focus: Home Office; The Budget/Autumn Statement (date to be confirmed); Government ICT worldwide; six months to GDPR; Government ICT worldwide; SME Agenda

December: Departmental focus: DWP; Government ICT worldwide; SME Agenda




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