A modern capability (draft)


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 to ensure that large organisations maintain an effective capacity to innovate.  The Taskforce wants to ensure that relevant Ministers and the Head of Digital Engagement have an external sounding board and think tank to help them keep abreast of a fast moving field.

The Power of Information work arose in late 2006 from the innovation strand of the Transformational Government programme. It is important that such innovation continues. We would also recommend that curiosity driven, risk taking research continues in the Transformational Government team as the emphasis shifts to implementing the Taskforce’s recommendations.


  • The web is developing all the time; so are ideas about how it and public sector information could be used.  The Cabinet Office should have a modest fund for leading-edge R&D to continue to test ideas and incubate new capabilities, and it should co-ordinate R&D work in this area elsewhere in the public sector.
  • A new external high level advisory panel should replace the Taskforce, reporting to the Minister for the Cabinet Office.  The Panel should advise Ministers and public servants on the latest developments in the area in the UK and overseas, scrutinise departmental plans and capabilities, set priorities for the Cabinet Office’s R&D fund, and drive and monitor progress in implementing the recommendations set out above. It should publish regular reports on the internet about developments and the government’s progress. The panel should be established by June 2009.

RSS feed of comments 5 Responses to “Constant innovation and staying up to speed with new ideas”

  1. Jeni Tennison says:

    ED: in final paragraph, “devleopments” should be “developments”.

    MODERATOR NOTE – thanks again, Jeni. This typo now also fixed (we put them in debilerately just so we could see who was reading the report closely :-) )

  2. Steph Gray says:

    Based on the response to Show Us A Better Way and this document, it would be wise for the new panel to be strongly encouraged to establish mechanisms for online dialogue and deliberation with the information community within and outside government.

  3. Tony Hirst says:

    By providing a way for third parties to engage with public sector developers, departments will to a certain extent be able to gauge from the developer community “what’s hot” and “what’s not”. Even traditional mailing lists can work well in this regard, for example the BBC Backstage Decelopers mailing list.

  4. Phil McAllister says:

    Has consideration been given to a forum (in the offline sense) or commissioning process to allow companies to pitch innovation ideas?

    I.e. If you have an idea for Dept. X and would like to apply for innovation funding, come and pitch it to us at this session (or here is the process you follow)…

  5. Sebastian Crump says:

    How does the panel join up with the work OPSI, COI and others are doing? As I commented on the OPSI resourcing section – does this point to a need for consolidating these?