Friday 9 November 2012

The Department of Health has been Katie Davisless for some time now. That, and GDS's fantasy strategy

Does Sir David still provide mental health services in England?

12 October 2011, Less for more:
First Katie worked for James and Ian. Then Ian left and so did Katie. When James left as well, Katie stopped working for Ian and went to work for James. Then James left and Sarah took over. There was no room for Katie so she went back to working for Ian. Until Christine left and now Katie finds herself working for David. Or is it the other way around? ...

In 2007 she moved to the Identity & Passport Service (IPS), where she was appointed Executive Director of Strategy. After three years of her strategy, IPS imploded ...

Had Ian Watmore at last managed to assert his authority over the Department of Health? Who knows. But one way and another, Christine Connelly was replaced by Katie Davis ...
Last seen, Katie Davis was the Cabinet Office's representative at the heart of the Department of Health. Her task? To stop money pouring down the NHS's National Programme for IT (NPfIT, £12 billion) and to get Sir David Nicholson under control.

Sir David Nicholson KCB CBE is Chief Executive of the English National Health Service and Chief Executive of the NHS Commissioning Board. "Nicholson joined the NHS on graduation, and then the Communist Party of Great Britain. He remained a member of the party until 1983". That's what it says in his Wikipedia entry and presumably it's there to be quoted.

DMossEsq must confess to a certain horrified admiration for Sir David. Never met him but he comes across as an old bruiser, a survivor, a winner, he's taken on all comers including the Prime Minister and he remains the undefeated commie, the Lonsdale Belt-holder of Whitehall.

How did Katie get on?

Don't be silly. Magic doesn't happen. Her LinkedIn entry reads:
Katie Davis
September 2012 – Present (3 months)

Director General and Managing Director NHS Informatics
UK Department of Health
Government Agency; 1001-5000 employees; Government Administration industry
July 2011 – August 2012 (1 year 2 months) London, United Kingdom
Gone. Like James Hall. And Ian Watmore, "the Vicar's Husband", as he calls himself. And Christine Connelly. All gone.

They're gone and Sir David's still there. And still nobody's dupe.

The government are trying to get their Electoral Registration and Administration Bill through parliament. In the vain hope of achieving computerised identity assurance they want to cross-match DWP's hopeless National Insurance number database with other central government files. HMRC have fallen in with it. And the Department for Education. But you won't see any NHS records being used. You won't see Sir David associating himself with this illegal activity. Or with losers.

And now the Government Digital Service (GDS) have published their Government Digital Strategy. This strategy covers all of central government and GDS are in charge. They say. But what's this we read on p.4?
The strategy does not cover local government services, the NHS, or ways to increase the digital capability of UK citizens. It also does not deal with the expansion of the broadband network which is being led by Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
Once again, clean hands, the wily Sir David is leaving the losers to lose all by themselves.

Government Digital Strategy is Volume 2 of Martha Lane Fox's October 2010 Directgov 2010 and beyond: revolution not evolution. Here's a taste of what it said in Volume 1:
Directgov should own the citizen experience of digital public services and be tasked with driving a 'service culture' across government which could, for example, challenge any policy and practice that undermines good service design ...

It seems to me that the time is now to use the Internet to shift the lead in the design of services from the policy and legal teams to the end users ...

Directgov SWAT teams ... should be given a remit to support and challenge departments and agencies ... We must give these SWAT teams the necessary support to challenge any policy and legal barriers which stop services being designed around user needs ...

I recommend that all digital teams in the Cabinet Office - including Digital Delivery, Digital Engagement and Directgov - are brought together under a new CEO for Digital.

This person should have the controls and powers to gain absolute authority over the user experience across all government online services ... and the power to direct all government online spend.

The CEO for Digital should also have the controls and powers to direct set and enforce standards across government departments ...
It's all a bit Machiavellian. Or just plain batty. You wouldn't think Ms Lane Fox's ideas would get through to government policy.

But they have. There they all are in GDS's bossy little Government Digital Strategy, a self-important document that actually struts as you read it:
This strategy sets out how the government will become digital by default ...

All departments will ensure that they have the right levels of digital capability in-house, including specialist skills. Cabinet Office will support improved digital capability across departments ... [not round at the Department of Health, they won't]

Cabinet Office will help departments to recruit suitably skilled individuals. Newly appointed Service Managers will be supported by Cabinet Office through a specialist training programme run by the Government Digital Service. This will include the hands-on process of designing and prototyping a digital service ...

Government digital services are inconsistent and often do not meet the standards that users expect. To ensure that users receive a consistently high-quality digital experience from government, Cabinet Office will develop a service standard for all digital services. No new or redesigned service will go live unless they meet this standard ...

Cabinet Office will lead in the definition and delivery of a new suite of common technology platforms which will underpin the new generation of digital services ...

Cabinet Office will lead in the definition and delivery of a range of common cross-government technology platforms, in consultation with departments to ensure they meet business needs. These will underpin the new generation of digital services. Departments will be expected to use these for new and redesigned services, unless a specific case for exemption is agreed ...

Government Digital Service will:

• offer specialist digital expertise to interpret existing legislation

In a few areas, laws made before the digital age can severely constrain the development of simple, convenient digital services. For example, HMRC have to provide tax coding notifications on paper rather than by electronic channels. Cabinet Office will work with departments to identify these potential barriers and ways to remove them ... [name three Constitutional lawyers working at GDS]

Transactional services and information are the primary focus of our digital by default approach ... [in that case it's a shame that GDS can't provide any identity assurance because without that they can't support any transactions]

The guidance and tools supporting the [digital by default] standard will help service owners to design trusted, cost-effective government services that are embraced by users and meet their needs first time. Government Digital Service will ensure there is a common understanding across government of what outcomes are required to meet the standard. This understanding must be shared by everyone involved in the development and life of a new or redesigned digital service ...

A new Digital Leaders Network was established in early 2012 to drive forward the digital agenda across government. The network is run by the Government Digital Service ...
This document of GDS's is the result of a class of computer-obsessed juveniles talking to themselves and making plans which presuppose powers that they simply don't possess. God knows what a psychiatrist would make of it. Does Sir David still provide mental health services in England?

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