Labour digital group calls for ‘top priority’ focus on technology

Labour should put technology at the ‘forefront’ of its thinking if it wins the next general election, according to a prominent group within the party.

In a report published today, Labour Digital, a network of Labour supporting technology experts, set out 82 recommendations which it hopes the party will adopt ahead of the general election in May 2015.

The authors said they would cost less than £10 billion over the next five years to implement but “deliver UK digital leadership worth hundreds of billions and public services substantially more impactful than those imaginable today.”

‘Government as a Platform’

Open APIs for government transactions, standardised data formats, high-quality assisted digital services and simplified procurement processes all feature on the group’s wish list.

The report said Labour should commit to the wholesale adoption of an open standards-based ‘Government as a Platform’ model.

This would entail the Government Digital Service (GDS) creating common platforms – for example for booking or registering – for the whole of government to reuse.

Another prominent idea was to set up a ‘National Institute for ICT Excellence’ to help reform government’s IT procurement procedures.

It would be a permanent body comprising “experienced civil servants and industry specialists” providing expertise and advice for government when procuring digital services and investment, the authors said.

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