One of the interesting moves this coalition government has made is to appoint “crown representatives” for key suppliers to government. So far this looks only good – government has a way to join up how it deals with suppliers (and find out what is going on across government – often suppliers know more than government does, see “nobody knows anything”) and suppliers have a place to escalate issues or propose new ideas.
Perhaps the next move is to appoint crown representatives for customer groups – to speed the joining up og pieces of government that, together, can do something important for, say, retired people / soon to be retired people / children etc.
Arguably we tried to do that some years ago with direct.gov (and alpha will face the same problem as it tries to join up government content and then – even more so – transactions), but we didn’t ever crack a way of joining up the policy and implementation (of future changes), only the description of the way it is now.
Such a move, at both official and ministerial level, and provided it was accompanied by levers to control budget and delivery, could result in some amazingly good changes to the way things work today.