Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude has announced his aim to make the UK the “most digital” G8 government by 2015.
Amidst discussing plans to puts Brits’ driving records online, Maude explained that the Cabinet Office expected to “save at least £500million this year, on top of the £500million we saved from government’s IT spend last year and £250million the year before” by tackling waste and inefficiency in its IT spend.
Maude pointed to the opposition Labour Party by saying that the Tory-led government had inherited a digital offering that was “limited at best and government IT was a byword for disaster”, and admitting “challenges” remained.
The government’s digital agenda is to move 25 public services online, including applications for student loans, registering to vote and tax self-assessments.
It claims that on average, an online service is 20 times cheaper than a phone transaction, 30 times cheaper than by post and 50 times cheaper than face-to-face.
Mr Maude said: “As the Chancellor said this week, we need to make more savings so the country can live within its means. Our digital-by-default agenda is part of our long-term economic plan to tackle the deficit we inherited.
“To win the global race and save hard-working taxpayers more money, we need world-class public services available online 24/7 from anywhere. That’s why it’s great news that DVLA is about to launch online driving records which can be used by anyone with a driving licence as well as by the insurance industry.”
The service will be fully launched in June.
Countries around the world have started to look to the UK’s Digital Strategy for inspiration. New Zealand recently launched in beta its own version of the award-winning GOV.UK, based on the open source code for the UK’s single government domain.