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UK and Canada sign digital government Memorandum of Understanding

The UK and Canada have signed Memorandum of Understanding on working together to strengthen digital government services in both countries

The UK has signed an agreement with counterparts in Canada to collaborate on digital government developments.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two countries highlights plans to work together on a series of targets, such as providing better digital services to citizens, which will promote economic growth.  

It also includes the use of open standards across government, as well as supporting “everyone in using digital public services”.

The MoU said the two governments commit “where possible” to work on the basis of several principles, including enabling services through “high-quality digital infrastructure” and teaching children how to code.

Singing the agreement, digital minister Matt Hancock said the UK has developed a “model for digital government transformation that is recognised as among the best in the world”.

“This MoU reflects the UK and Canada’s shared ambition to make sure that digital innovation continues to underpin the delivery of our public services,” he said.

Although not legally binding, the MoU said the two countries will share information and experiences on their respective work on developing digital services through “contact and exchange of experts, including secondments”.  Funding for will be decided on a case-by-case basis, the MoU added.

President of Canada’s Treasury Board, Scott Brison, said the country is committed to working with the UK to deliver improved government services using open data and standards. “I’m excited about the potential of what we can do,” he added.

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The agreement with Canada is similar to the one the Government Digital Service (GDS) signed with Australian counterparts last year, which highlighted sharing information and experiences on digital transformation

In 2015, the UK government also signed agreements with the US Digital Service (USDS) and Washington’s 18F agency to exchange knowledge and experience, following similar deals signed with Israel in 2014 and Estonia in 2013.   

In 2015, the UK and Estonia also launched a TechLink programme, aiming to bring together entrepreneurs from the two countries to tackle challenges in financial technology, cyber security, digital government and biotech.

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