Whitehall must invest in innovation: Hansard Soc

I’ll try to find time to read the Hansard Society’s second Digital Dialogues report on using IT for public engagement, but I’ve got a load of other things to do in the next few days. For now, a quick skim of the executive summary has some sensible advice. I’m particularly drawn to the first recommendation:

Government needs a culture of innovation in lots of areas of its work, but particularly in relation to how it engages with the public. Investing in innovation will help government to learn, make informed decisions and motivate the public to interact with its agencies, departments and representatives.

Naturally, I do have a personal axe to grind here. But I’ve long felt there should be a ‘skunk works’ unit within central government, with minimal line management, and an open remit. You could describe it as a MySociety group on the inside, I suppose. It’s absolutely not the way the Civil Service wants to work, but I just don’t think there’s any other way to do it. Even a centrally-provided slice of server space for departments to test things out would be a start.

2 thoughts on “Whitehall must invest in innovation: Hansard Soc”

  1. sounds kool. However we have the national projects experience and others to warn against grand schemes – lots of little ones supporting/supported by a larger, independent network funded at length … now I’m dreaming ..
    (‘scuse my abnormal cynicism but we suffer from a couple of national projects, as do others – I have the memory infused I’m afraid of literally going from Silver Service to Church Hall overnight as funding ended and support with it on one large project)

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