Government Digital Service saves £4bn through better IT

Written by Rebecca Hill on 13 December 2016 in News

The GDS has also seen success with its flagship project to bring all government content under the GOV.UK domain

GDS director general Kevin Cunnington - Image credit: Photoshot

The Government Digital Service (GDS), which celebrated its fifth birthday last week, has saved the Government almost £4bn through improved digital services since March 2012.

GDS has aimed to cut IT costs across government by setting controls on how much departments can spend on IT services and projects.

It has also ensured that departments are offering better value for money through its Technology Code of Practice and standards assessment processes.


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The latest figures released by the Cabinet Office indicate that the UK Government saved £3.56bn as a result of digital and technology transformation in the three financial years up to March 2015.

On top of this, the Cabinet Office revealed that government saved £339m through assurance of IT and digital services in the 2015-16 financial year.

However, this is a fall of £52m compared with the previous financial year, when savings reached £391m. 

In a statement, minister for the Cabinet Office, Ben Gummer, said: “The work GDS does is about making life easier for citizens and businesses through the ongoing transformation of public services.

“We want to save people time and effort - and save the taxpayer money.

“So it is great to see that GDS is celebrating turning five by once again illustrating how we are saving millions for the public purse while helping citizens and businesses access the vital public services they rely on.”

The Cabinet Office also released figures on GDS’s flagship project, the single government website GOV.UK, showing that since 2012 it has received more than three billion visits.

One million of these have been in the past 12 months – an average of 34 visits a second – and the site now has more than 40 million users, up from 14 million in November 2012.

Meanwhile, the leader of GDS, Kevin Cunnington, has blogged about his plans for the future of the service, noting that the team is hiring at a rate of 45 additional people a month.

“In start-up terms, that’s a major success. In terms of digital government, it is hugely important,” he wrote, adding that one of his priorities would be to transform the workforce across Whitehall through its new national digital academies and promoting equality and diversity in government digital, data and technology professions.

Among his other plans are to invest more in policy and engagement to help break down siloes across government services and “fix how data is stored and used in government” – including to publish a roadmap of open application programming interfaces.

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