Digitisation featured heavily in today’s Autumn Statement and Spending Review, with Chancellor George Osborne allocating £450m to the Government Digital Service (GDS) and announcing an investment of £1.3 billion in HMRC to create personalised digital tax accounts.
The funds allocated to GDS are to continue creating common platforms such as GOV.UK Pay, which will simplify hundreds of different payment systems.
The chancellor set 2020 as a target by which citizens will have the option to pay online for every central government service, including passports, driving licences and motoring fees.
In addition, The Common Technology Services programme will deliver flexible technology for the entire Civil Service, opening up more government contracts to suppliers.
Taxation goes digital
The investment in HMRC is intended to make it one of the most digitally advanced tax administrations in the world, with access to digital tax accounts for all small businesses and individuals by 2016/17.
The digitisation of tax accounts are working towards the government’s new target to reduce the costs to business of tax administration by £400 million by the end of 2019/20.
Emergency services receive mobile boost
There was good news for emergency services as well, with an investment of nearly £1 billion in new mobile digital technology through the Emergency Services Mobile Communications Programme.
The enhanced network will enable officers to access key police databases, take mobile fingerprints and electronic witness statements and stream live body-worn video – all while on the move.
The new network will also connect all emergency services on the same broadband network for the first time.