Digital governments meet in London to commit to best practices

Digital governments from across the world are meeting in London today as part of the inaugural D5 summit

Digital governments from across the world are meeting in London today as part of the inaugural D5 summit.

The two-day D5 summit brings together the UK, South Korea, Estonia, New Zealand and Israel – countries which all have leading digital governments that design digital services for citizens, as well as sharing open-source offerings with other nations.

Ministers and senior officials from the five founding members will meet in a variety of locations across London, including Tech City, with events hosted by minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude and HRH the Duke of York.

The summit aims to promote economic growth through open markets, improved networking capabilities and collaborating on future projects. The D5 founders will also sign a charter to commit to digital best practice and furthering startups and code development from an early age.

Digital economy minister Ed Vaizey said hosting the first D5 summit puts the UK’s digital economy on the map as one of the strongest markets in the world. 

UK digital government

The Government Digital Service (GDS) was set up by the coalition government to digitise public service transactions across Whitehall. It has almost completed its two-year project to digitise 25 exemplar services.

The government has calculated that, on average, an online public service is 20 times cheaper than a phone transaction, 30 times cheaper than by post and 50 times cheaper than face-to-face. It claims digitising public services will make cumulative savings of £1.2bn in this parliament, rising to an estimated £1.7bn by 2016.

Meanwhile, other departments – including the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) – have seen success at building their own digital services following in the footsteps of GDS. 

“Ensuring that our people and businesses have world-class digital skills so they can compete in the economy of the future is a key part of our long-term economic plan to back business, create jobs and secure a brighter future for Britain,” he said.

“We have already put coding into the school curriculum, and our roll-out of superfast broadband, backed by over £1bn government investment in our digital infrastructure, has now passed more than 1.5 million homes and businesses and is reaching 40,000 more each week.”

Maude said: “Since 2010, the UK has become the most digitally advanced government in the G7, including by establishing GDS [Government Digital Service], launching our award-winning Gov.uk and digitising 25 exemplar public services. We’re also making the UK one of the safest places in the world to do business online. As part of this government's long-term economic plan we will do even more – moving to a government-as-a-platform model and ensuring by 2020 that everyone who can go online is online.”

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