A modern capability


Constant innovation and staying up to speed with new ideas

The 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 organizations 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.

Recommendation 21
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 to continue to test ideas and incubate new capabilities, and it should co-ordinate work in this area elsewhere in the public sector.

Recommendation 22
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 fund, have a dialogue with the information community inside and outside government and drive and monitor progress in implementing the recommendations set out above. The Panel should work closely with the Advisory Panel on Public Sector Information. It should publish regular reports on the internet about developments and the government’s progress. The panel should be established by June 2009.