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Countdown to a Connected World - Extracts

Civil Government Report Extracts

1. Headline Results
  • Government policy continues to drive the focus of business effort in the Civil Government sector.

While many respondents mentioned that the key business issues included maintaining or raising levels and quality of service delivery. The government's Best Value policy was mentioned most often as the key business issue followed closely by issues surrounding Open Government or the implementation of Government.Direct. What this shows is that despite decentralisation, delegation and restructuring, the drive for business change in the public sector is still coming from central government rather than being directly customer lead.

  • Public sector bodies have rapidly expanded their use of the Internet to publish public information via organisation specific web-sites.

The open government web-site ( has done much to promote this and acts as a gateway to over 400 public sector organisations. Lists maintained by the government's own agency (Central Computer and Telecommunication Agency (CCTA)) and by Tagish Ltd (a recognised source of information on government in the UK) show between 78% and 92% of local councils now have web sites. Despite some not being centrally listed, 100% of local council respondents claimed to have a council specific web-site. It was not possible to identify an individual council that did not have a web-site of some description – even brand new unitary councils have constructed sights to help explain the councils existence and to provide much needed information on council restructuring.

However the haste to present information on the net has lead to a lack of quality in many areas. A random survey of councils taken from the Local Government Information Unit lists showed the following state of sites:

The above breakdown shows whether a link to the council site could be found, whether the link still worked and access could be gained, whether there was any content on the site and the usefulness of that content. Useful content included: Local Council information, names and contact details for local representatives, information for businesses in the area, information for residents, tourist information and community projects.

  • Central Government estimates for Year 2000 related expenditure are still too low.

The government has been keen to raise the profile of the Year 2000 problem in the public and private sectors and all central departments are required to submit their plans and a quarterly review of progress. However, the estimates for remedial work remain extremely low with the Ministry of Defence accounting for more than half of the overall government total.

While many departments are looking to solve the problem with previously planned expenditure for replacement systems, the extent of the problem is still not fully known. Compliance testing is claimed to be well advanced but it is likely that the current estimates will continue to grow.

2. Benchmark

The Civil Government sector 'Countdown' benchmark is shown above. The axis headings are:

  1. Management commitment and leadership
  2. Employee participation/management
  3. Infrastructure
  4. Processes
  5. Supplier relationships
  6. Customer relationships
  7. Information management
  8. Interoperability

The outermost points on the axes – 100%, represent the ideal organisational values and infrastructure at the present time for successful competition in the connected world. Each axis score for the sector or company is plotted onto the eight axes and a spider (or area) chart constructed.

The key contention is that money and effort spent on an already developed axis while other axes are significantly behind is not being fully utilised because of the under-development of other balancing factors. For example, it is folly to continue investing in supplier relationships and automate supply chains if employee commitment and internal processes are not in place to capitalise on the benefits. Organisations should aim for a balanced development along each axis.

3. Sector background

  • Open Government and Freedom of Information
  • Government.Direct – the future of service delivery
  • Best Value – replacing Compulsory Competitive Tendering without sacrificing cost efficiency

MoD Report Contents

Part One - Executive Summary

    1.1 Survey/Research Overview
      1. What is 'Countdown to a Connected World'?
      2. What is in this Report?
      3. Is Countdown relevant for Defence?
    1.2 Key Research Findings
      1. Overall Countdown findings
      2. Key MoD research findings
    1.3 Benchmark

Part Two – Report

    2.1 The Connected World
      1. Why are we getting connected
      2. The advance of globalisation
      3. The 'connected' organisation
    2.2 Sector Information
      1. Scope
      2. Background
      3. End of Cold War
      4. The Strategic Defence Review
      5. The Defence Industry
    2.3 Business Drivers Present and Future
      1. New Role
      2. New Rules
      3. New Requirement
    2.4 MoD Organisation
      1. Central Vision
      2. Service Profiles
        1. RN
        2. Army
        3. RAF
      3. Sector Profiles
        1. Operations
        2. Logistics
        3. Personnel & Training
        4. Procurement
      4. Security
    2.5 Research Findings
      1. Management Commitment and Leadership
      2. Employee Participation
      3. Infrastructure
      4. Processes
      5. Supplier Relationships
      6. Managing customer relationships
      7. Information Management
      8. Interoperability
      9. Year 2000
    2.6 Case Studies
      1. Upkeep
      2. TAFMIS


Part 3 – Appendix

    1. The Countdown to a Connected World Benchmark


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