New report identifies Scottish Government digital progress

A progress report on Scotland’s 2021-2024 digital strategy has identified a number of key milestones achieved in the area of Digital Government and Services.

Listen to 'New report identifies Scottish Government digital progress'

The original Strategy aimed to ensure that Scotland could embrace technology and leverage data to improve services, increase efficiency and achieve better citizen outcomes. The new report - ‘A changing nation: how Scotland will thrive in a digital world’ - was written by the Scottish Government in collaboration with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) and the Digital Office for Scottish Local Government. It highlights a number of achievements across common digital platforms; supporting organisations to reform; and digital skills and capabilities in the public sector. 

Implementation of the original strategy has been affected by the long term impact of COVID, the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the corresponding impact of global commodity prices.

“It should also be remembered that many of the commitments in the strategy are multi-year and include statements of ambition rather than specific projects or programmes. With this in mind much of the progress set out in this update represents a snapshot in time of where progress currently is, rather than the end state,” the report notes.

Digital government milestones

The 2021 Strategy recognised that digital has the power to change the nature of government and how it delivers public services, and noted that this requires the Scottish Government to “reform how we design and deliver services and change the culture and structures of our organisations.” 

Key achievements highlighted in the report include:

  • ScotAccount - secure and simple way to access public services online
  • myaccount - an authentication and identity verification service, which can be deployed in a variety of configurations to meet different organisational needs, requirements and is proportional to the services citizens access
  • Scotpayment - a common payments platform that is secure, centralised and will support the digital transformation of public services in Scotland
  • Cloud Platform Service - This common platform service gives Scottish public sector organisations access to cloud technologies in order to host their systems/workloads effectively to be offered as a live service from April 2024
  • Digital Support Hub - guidance and information for anyone delivering a digital service in the Scottish Government or its agencies
  • Scottish Digital Academy - supporting function for the Scottish Government Digital, Data and Technology (DDaT) profession by providing high quality professional learning, advice and guidance to develop digital skills, leadership and talent. 
  • Scottish Approach to Service Design - framework to guide how the Scottish government designs user-centred public services

Scotland’s digital identity ecosystem is increasingly mature, with different component services deployed for different identity and verification challenges across the Scottish public sector. 

Scot Account has been developed by the Scottish Government, and offers a user-friendly sign in, together with identity verification to the industry standard for digital identity verification services. This level of verification is necessary for the delivery of certain public services and the prevention of fraud and identity theft. Adhering to this industry standard will also be key for potential future interoperability with UK Government services and the European identity wallet. 

ScotAccount launched in February 2023 and is live with Disclosure Scotland, has a further pilot underway with the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, and more public services are coming on board during 2024-25. 

Myaccount is an authentication and identity verification service, which can be deployed in a variety of configurations to meet different organisational needs, requirements and is proportionate to the services citizens access. Developed by Local Government, myaccount has 2.4 million registered accounts, and is live with 92 integrations across 40 organisations, including all 32 Local Authorities. 

ScotPayments is a collaboration with public sector partners, reshaping payments processes across the public sector. Ongoing enhancements to the service include the implementation of the Confirmation of Payee feature, to further fortify fraud protection. As a robust Minimum Viable Service, it has efficiently processed over £22 million in outbound payments, using automated functions to reduce manual processing and mitigate the risks of fraud and error. The programme is poised to deliver substantial savings over a 10-year period, by streamlining processes, reducing system downtime, speeding up payment processing, and minimising errors by cutting manual steps.

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