Response to McClelland Review

Monday 3rd October 2011

The McClelland (below left) Review concluded that overall ICT investment in the public sector during 2008/09 was around £1.4bn and more than 60% of that expenditure was with industry suppliers. In addition the cost to organisations of the ICT staff was approximately £250m. In the Response to the Review, John Swinney, (below right) cabinet secretary for finance, employment and sustainable growth, says "There are clearly opportunities to reduce spend by improving our approach to engaging with suppliers and procurement across the public sector and by sharing and integrating our ICT requirements and support."

Public Sector Broadband Infrastructure: There has already been significant investment in high-speed broadband across the public sector  with Pathfinder, Interconnect and JANET networks supporting education at all levels.

Scottish Government is investing £90m in Pathfinder alone ( 2007/08 – 2013/14). Pathfinder North and South Projects provide high speed broadband to nearly 1,200 schools and other public sector sites across five local authorities in the Highlands and Islands, and two local authorities in the South of Scotland.

Furthermore, through Pathfinder South, almost £240,000 has been contributed to a next generation broadband pilot project in Annan, that seeks to widen out access to the Pathfinder network for the benefit of business and communities.

The plan will take into account:

  • aggregation of public service demand for infrastructure and services to achieve value for money (McClelland);
  • scope for public services investment to help build the infrastructure network and bring benefits to citizens and businesses (McClelland and Digital Strategy); and
  • the commitment to develop a national broadband plan to achieve availability of next generation broadband (and digital connectivity) to all by 2020, with significant progress by 2015 (Digital Strategy).

Government will develop this national broadband roll-out plan with funding proposals by the end of March 2012.

Between now and the end of March 2012
A mapping exercise is underway to identify across portfolios the digital public services activity already underway. This will inform the strategy development going forward.

In 2012, the Scottish Government will:

  • Work with partners to take forward our strategy for digital public services, as set out in Scotland’s Digital Future, so that an increasing proportion of services are delivered online.
  • Consider a range of delivery mechanisms (e.g. online, smartcard) that may be used for digital service delivery, taking into account the needs of citizens and launch the DirectScot portal prototype and seek feedback from the public to shape its further development

Planned Delivery to 2016

Planned procurement strategies in the ICT area led by the Scottish Government are being aligned with the McClelland recommendations. Specific examples of work in hand include:

  • Web Conferencing – in August 2011, a tender was advertised for the provision of web conferencing services across the Scottish public sector, which will deliver significant budgetary and environmental benefits in the coming years;
  • Public Service Network for Scotland – linked to both the McClelland report and Digital Strategy, we are working to determine the optimum way of achieving a single PSN for the public sector in Scotland. The PSN will create a “network of networks” for the Public Sector from the existing commercial networks and will develop a market place providing opportunities for industry, and savings for the public sector.
  • Mobile Telephony Services – we are about to embark on the first collaborative tender exercise for mobile services, harnessing the purchasing power of participating public bodies to achieve best value for money. 
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