Our ‘DigitalScot.social’ campaign also includes a focus on the government’s enterprise systems aspect as well as the Third Sector, notably a review of this IT outsourcing deal, awarding a contract to IBM for the first implementation of Scotland’s devolved welfare powers.
Whilst it’s obvious Tory austerity is the primary cause, this devolution of some welfare powers is the SNP’s first chance to demonstrate what they will do differently to reverse the trend, with the IBM outsourcing deal being the first action in this regard.
Will it deliver, or will it be more of the same just a Scottish version of it?
The overall context for this question is described in our recent article for PublicTechnology, that sums up the debacle of the Universal Credit system implementation, due to the approach of GDS and their Identity system Gov.UK Verify.
With the Scottish digital strategy mostly following GDS and the focus of the IBM deal seemingly being a “lift and shift” of what already exists, to minimize the risk of failure (“no one every got fired for buying IBM“), then ultimately it defines a core question of “What is being done differently in Scotland?” From the outside it looks like very little if anything.
We currently have an active FOI request, with response due by mid August, asking for clarification of this policy strategy, and will write this up into an analysis of whether it will deliver on the promise, or simply continue the problem locally in Scotland. Stay tuned!