Gov’t cuts are just the start

The news that the Government plans to cut 75% of its websites in an attempt to save millions of pounds is an example of it trying to tackle a symptom of departmental inefficiency, rather than the source of the problem.

A legacy of poor planning, bad implementation and headline-grabbing buzzword bingo initiatives has led us to a position where duplication of effort and vanity projects now overshadow the undeniable cost savings and service improvements the digital age can enable.

Commercial organisations are relying ever more heavily on the internet to sell stuff, to deliver services and to communicate with their customers and stakeholders, and have demonstrated how cost-effective digital marketing can be.

Those that have failed to take advantage of the digital age have seen shareholders walk out the door. Meanwhile, governments have been getting away with “spend and fail” in the dark for longer than any would like to admit.

If the Government is to guarantee true value for money for the public purse once it’s made these cuts, it needs to ensure it delivers real change and focus within departments. It needs to establish clear and measurable objectives, as well as the processes by which those results will be measured.

Margaret Manning, CEO, Reading Room

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