A modern capability (draft)

The Taskforce recognises that significant resourcing implications will have to be addressed if our proposed changes to the way public services work are to be successful. Many people in the public sector already have the skills needed to deliver them and this inherent capability will increase to a degree over time by the simple process of recruitment of new staff from cohorts who use web tools in their daily lives. However, there is a need to intervene to ensure consistency of knowledge about best practice across this very diverse community, to ensure that there is ongoing external input and to make specialist functions, such as copyright and licensing expertise, available more widely.

Resourcing OPSI, a part of the National Archives

The government should ensure that the public sector makes the best use of scarce talent and expertise while it is upskilling to take advantage of the power of information.  This work is at the leading edge for any public sector and skills are in short supply.
Recommendation
At a time of national economy, the public sector will [...]

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Implement the National Audit Office report

The National Audit Office published a report ‘Government on the internet: progress in delivering information and services online’ in July 2007 (link) that made important recommendations for the government’s web estate.
The Taskforce noted in particular the expenditure estimate for the central government web estate:
‘..We estimate the annual running costs for central government websites as £208 [...]

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Government websites should meet basic usability criteria

It is easier to extract benefit from information that is presented on the web in a usable way.
The Taskforce commissioned work on usability from the agency Bunnyfoot to identify good and bad aspects of government websites. The review found that some government websites are failing to get the basics right, for example:

Not helping people to [...]

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Constant innovation and staying up to speed with new ideas

This Taskforce has done its work and will disband itself if the Minister for Digital Engagement agrees.  However we want to ensure that the government continues to stay abreast of the latest developments so that it can serve citizens well in the future.  Work by DIUS on innovation confirms the view that special arrangements are required [...]

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IT Profession Skills

The issues raised by this report point to quite new approaches and techniques in the publishing of information.  One early indicator is the proposal for an API model for publishing the 2011 census (link).  As with any innovation, the challenge for a large organisation such as the public sector is to capture the skills of leading [...]

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Modern training in modern skills

The Taskforce has commissioned online training material on website usability from COI that can be deployed rapidly at relatively low cost. The Permanent Secretary Government Communications should bring forward a plan to train communications staff in the basics of social media and a modern web presence by Q3 2009. Consideration should be given to adapting [...]

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Increase UK capacity for data mashing via higher education

The Taskforce was struck that much of the innovation in the vibrant UK data mashing scene comes from people associated with the higher education sector, either recent or current students or academics.  In fact innovation in public sector data mashing has largely come from individuals and the third sector rather than from the major IT [...]

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