This is a challenging time for the UK Government generally. In particular, with improving outcomes for those that use public services during the last 10 years of austerity. Each government department is trying hard to respond to the issues being faced, and preparing for the likely on-going challenges of the future.
With ongoing financial restraint, the government looks to deliver services in new ways and with fewer resources, through greater delegation to local bodies, partnerships with the private and third sector, and with digital technology. Such significant level of change brings with it opportunities for efficiency but also risks to value for money and service delivery. At the same time, the uncertainties created by Brexit place further strain on government resources. Successfully meeting these challenges will depend greatly on government capability and effective prioritisation. These challenges include:
- Brexit. Uncertainty over the economic arrangements, wide ranging strains for government resources and significant changes to the availability and prioritisation of funding streams
- Capability in the Public Sector. Negotiating the UK’s departure from the EU, whilst delivering an ambitious infrastructure investment and transformation programme, needs new skills and capabilities
- Emerging risks. The likes of Carillion failing and other major supplier service partners in financial difficulty have all led to risks to public services
- Restoration and Renewal of Parliament. The Palace of Westminster is being restored and Parliament has to be temporarily re-located. The restoration will be a large, costly and complex project involving a nationally significant building in the heart of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Reducing Service Costs, Better Innovation and Collaboration
The move to digital channels across central government is forcing the more strategic suppliers to come up with new innovations. In turn, this is forcing government to collaborate more effectively, not only with key suppliers, but also with cross-departmental working and shared services. The stakeholder management across these groups is extensive. But when the innovation and collaboration works, it works remarkably well to operate new ways of working and driving out extensive BAU costs.