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Directgov (Review)

Volume 519: debated on Tuesday 23 November 2010

I invited Martha Lane Fox, the Government’s digital champion, to undertake a strategic review of Directgov which was completed on 14 October 2010. This supported the work that the Efficiency and Reform Board had undertaken on channel shift and the opportunity for digital channels to support delivery of the spending review. The Chief Secretary to the Treasury and I wrote to Departments in September outlining our commitment to improving services and driving efficiencies by making digital the default channel for Government information and transactional services.

Martha Lane Fox submitted her report “Directgov 2010 and beyond: revolution not evolution” to me in October. The report places Directgov in the context of how Government should use the internet both to communicate and interact better with citizens and to deliver significant efficiency savings from making digital the default delivery channel for Government information and services.

I have written to Martha Lane Fox today thanking her for her report and saying that I am minded to accept her proposals in full, but that I will need to consult colleagues before making any final decisions about how to take them forward. I have placed Martha Lane Fox’s report and my response in the Library. Both documents are also available on the Cabinet Office website (www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk)

I expect quick and broad agreement on some of Martha Lane Fox’s proposals where we can make rapid progress and that in some areas—such as moving to a single domain for Government—I will have to work with Departments to test different approaches and work through the details and timescales. It is important to set a clear direction of travel and that is what I have done in my reply as the initial Government response to Martha Lane Fox’s proposals.