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Challenges in implementing digital change


Government plans to transform public services are increasingly led by digitally-enabled business change, and it is essential that public bodies deliver high quality digital services in a time when our way of life is increasingly digital.

But a recent NAO report found that in “25 years of government strategies and countless attempts to deliver digital business change successfully, there is a consistent pattern of underperformance. This underperformance is often the result of decision makers fixing on technology solutions before fundamental aspects of projects and programmes are sufficiently thought through.”

The NAO found that “only a small proportion of senior officials in government have first-hand experience of digital business change”, and that “many of the problems that occur in large digital operational change programmes stem from senior decision-makers’ inability to understand the issues and make the decisions required to implement digital change in an effective way”.

The NAO concluded that current pressures on public finances mean there is an urgent need for those designing and delivering digital business change programmes to learn from past mistakes.

The Committee will question senior officials at the Cabinet Office, Government Digital Service and HMRC on the capacity and capability of senior decision-makers in the public sector to deliver digital business change.

If you have evidence on these questions, please submit it here by 6pm on Monday 20 September 2021.

This inquiry is no longer accepting evidence

The deadline for submissions was Monday 20 September 2021.

Reports, special reports and government responses

No reports or special reports published.

Oral evidence transcripts

View all oral evidence transcripts
23 September 2021
Inquiry Challenges in implementing digital change
Committees Public Accounts Committee
Oral Evidence
CDC0001 - Challenges in implementing digital change
Witnesses Professor Mark Thompson (Professor of Digital Economy at University of Exeter Business School), Dr Jerry Fishenden (Government Adviser at Freelance), and Assistant Professor Will Venters (Assistant Prfessor in Information Systems at London School of Economics)
Committees Public Accounts Committee
Written Evidence
CDC0002 - Challenges in implementing digital change
Witnesses Pelory Limited
Committees Public Accounts Committee
Written Evidence
CDC0003 - Challenges in implementing digital change
Witnesses NHS Providers
Committees Public Accounts Committee
Written Evidence

Other publications

No other publications published.

Contact us

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  • Phone: 020 7219 3273 (General enquiries). For all media enquiries please contact Jessica Bridges Palmer / 07917488489
  • Address: Public Accounts Committee, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA