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The strategy is delivery …

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fibre-optic-cableYou may have heard this mantra coming out of the Cabinet Office, but what does it mean in practice?

We have started to think about this question, in the context of carrying out a refresh of Defra’s own Digital Strategy. This was agreed at the end of 2012 and remains the basis for annual progress reports we provide to the Cabinet Office. But it’s right that we are looking at it again.

So what are Defra's ambitions?

Clearly, we will still have to work within the boundaries set by the overarching Government Digital Strategy and the work of the Government Digital Service (GDS) in the Cabinet Office. The challenge and imperatives for departments to adopt a ‘digital by default’ approach are getting stronger and stronger.

What then should a refreshed Defra Digital Strategy include? We still have our ‘digital by default’ aim of course – delivering digital services that are straightforward and convenient to use, so that those who can use them will choose to do so, while providing support for those who cannot.

But we have to recognise the financial constraints that the department is operating under. So we will need to be opportunistic in taking advantage of new priorities and service developments across Defra that will achieve cost savings and make things easier for our customers. And all of us in Defra need to work more efficiently and develop the skills to make the most of new digital tools and services.

Give us your views

So what do you think? How should we be framing Defra’s digital ambitions and priorities going forward? If you have any thoughts or want to get involved, please contact me at

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