Online services will help Northern Ireland Executive cut workforce by 10 per cent

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
25 June 2015

The government of Northern Ireland is aiming to use the digital provision of services to help reduce its workforce by 10 per cent.

Caron Alexander, director of digital services for the Northern Ireland civil service, told a conference this would mean a “total re-engineering about how we deliver our services”.

Speaking at The Public Sector Show in London she said: “We have to reduce the size of the public sector by 10 per cent. Doing digital is the only way we can do that.”

Alexander said 16 services were planned to be delivered digitally by 2016, but people needed to be persuaded to switch, with half of people in Northern Ireland still using the phone to renew car documents.

During a discussion of digital services Oliver Morley, CEO of the DVLA, said digital would form “a big part” of a target to produce 30 per cent efficiencies over the next two years.

“The majority of those savings are coming from non-staff costs,” he said, referring to the recent abolition of the driving licence paper counterpart.

Speaking of digital services in general he said: “Our goal is to be able to provide this kind of huge scale architecture which allows government to be at the heart of interactions, without getting in the way, and enabling new businesses and uses.”

Mike Potter, digital transformation director at HMRC, said his department sent 200 million letters each year, making up a seventh of the total post delivered in the UK.

“We have a funding reduction which we have to address,” he said.

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