Auditor warns Scots Govt on digital skills shortage

The Auditor General for Scotland has warned that the Scottish Government needs to show greater strategic leadership across the public sector to achieve its digital ambitions.

“There has been some good early progress towards putting digital at the heart of everything government does …” said a statement from the auditor.

“But the Scottish Government does not yet know how much investment is needed to achieve the ambitious aims it set out in its digital strategy in 2017.

“It also lacks a complete picture of which actions have had the most impact to date – and where the gaps are.

“This makes it difficult to prioritise what to work on.

“A new government assurance framework is helping individual projects reduce the risks historically associated with public sector IT projects.

“But a digital skills shortage in Scotland and across the government has meant there has not been enough staff to share common lessons learned.

“This remains a barrier to progress.”

Caroline Gardner, Auditor General for Scotland, added: “The Scottish Government is in a unique position to show digital leadership by bringing people together and sharing lessons learned across Scotland’s public sector.

“Governments across the world are facing the same challenge, and bringing about collaboration will not be easy.

“But Scotland’s relatively small size presents a clear opportunity for the government to move from an operational role to one of strategic leadership and reap all the benefits that shift could bring to citizens and the wider economy.”

About the Author

Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.