Civil servants 'Sir Humphrey' their way through grilling on's digital transformation - MPs ask for specifics, get evasive umming and erring

The Whitehall officials running departments and agencies at the centre of efforts to boost digitisation, along with their political bosses, were yesterday quizzed by the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee.

The MPs are trying to get to the bottom of the government's progress towards becoming 'truly digital', rather than just sticking a fancy front end on processes that are often manual. They've so far taken evidence from the founders of the Government Digital Service (GDS), industry and various Whitehall tech-watchers.

Among these concerns are that efforts to reduce vendor lock-in and bring IT in-house, kicked off by Francis Maude in 2011, have lost momentum – and that progress in ripping and replacing outdated kit risks grinding to a halt, with some departments falling further behind and GDS being increasingly sidelined.

My comment: Interesting to see politicians getting into the real specifics and holding departments accountable for the efficient (or not) expenditure of taxpayers money.


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