Three-quarters of civil servants don’t understand Government as a Platform

Civil servants are confused and anxious about the forthcoming Government as a Platform programme, a survey has found.

A survey of 2,000 civil servants by software company Northgate Public Services found that 74% don’t fully understand the £450m programme to join up government digital services.

It also found that only 41% of civil servants felt confident that their department would deliver its digital plan, and only 39% felt confident that they would realise savings from it.

Sue Holloway, director of services strategy at Northgate Public Services, said: “Managing the impact of digital strategies on the workplace is also going to be essential.

“Feedback reveals a growing unease among employees – they are feeling potentially threatened because they don’t know how digital will affect their jobs. Worryingly, there’s a belief that their needs aren’t a priority in this debate.” 

She said more digital champions were needed to raise awareness of the changes.

The GOV.UK Verify service, a key part of Government as a Platform, was rolled out at the end of last month.

Socitm has called for Government as a Platform to be extended to local government.

Leigh Whitehouse, joint chief executive at Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, wrote for PSE this year about how Government as a Platform can be the catalyst for changing the delivery of local public services.

The latest survey also found that 33% of respondents did not feel the data their department held was secure, and only 26% thought it was accurate and 22% thought it was easy to share.

Another recent survey of civil servants found that 53% felt lack of training was the biggest barrier to digitisation of government services.

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