The Digital Economy Contents

7Digital co-ordination in the public sector

72.The Minister recognised that clarity was needed between digital policies that cover the remits of both BIS and DCMS: “I think we need to pause, perhaps over the summer [of 2016] and have a good look at how we engage digitally”.80 He also described the silo working of different Departments, including the Department for Transport and the Department for Energy and Climate Change, on connectivity.81 He also wanted greater clarity in the work of different digital organisations, including Innovate UK, Tech City UK, Digital Catapult, The Future Cities Catapult and the Satellite Applications Catapult.82

73.We heard of innovative projects in NHS Scotland, using big data with a private company to develop a new diabetes treatment regime, which has resulted in a reduced number of amputations that patients with diabetes have to undergo, as well as the saving money for NHS Scotland.83 Such collaborative work set a good example for other parts of the UK, and, in principle, we welcome measures contained in the Digital Economy Bill covering the use of data by the Government to deliver better public services, by the sharing of publically-held data (while maintaining safeguards on privacy) and more quickly available and more accurate research and statistics.

74.There needs to be better co-ordination between Government Departments on digital innovations, in order to improve public sector efficiency, which in turn will benefit the economy. For the Government to have a holistic view of the different digital initiatives that each Department is undertaking, the Minister responsible for the Digital Economy should take the lead in overseeing digital projects. We recommend that this issue is addressed in the Government’s Digital Strategy.

80 Q 485

81 Q 485

82 Q 485

83 Q 19 [Rob Lamb]

© Parliamentary copyright 2015

15 July 2016