‘I want digital to transform our services’

Nov 2, 2017 · raconteur.net

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From Raconteur, London’s first chief digital officer Theo Blackwell tells the Public Sector Show he aims to make the capital the world’s leading smart city.


The mayor Sadiq Khan and I are determined to make London the world’s leading smart city with digital technology and data at the heart of making it an even better place to live, work and visit.

I’m committed to ensuring we fully harness London’s potential to make public services faster and more reliable at doing the things we expect online, but also adaptable enough to overcome the capital’s most complex challenges. My first priority will be building digital leadership by developing a new Smart London Plan, strengthening digital foundations of London public services so we can innovate and work with the govtech sector, and acting as a digital ambassador, highlighting the immense innovation across London.


London’s boroughs are doing great work in this area already, for example the London Counter-Fraud Hub is being used by boroughs to combat procurement deception and council tax evasion, while the Local Government Digital Service Standard is a more common approach for boroughs to deliver and design digital public services. Many boroughs have a track record for innovation, Camden in data or Greenwich for the internet of things; others are setting up shared services or laying out ambitious innovation programmes.

We aim to go a step further building collaboration across London’s public services. London councils and the mayor agreed to co-fund a study to explore how to improve the ways new digital and data-driven services are shared and scaled, to collaborate on new innovation challenges, and finally address common or London-wide policy challenges through digital technology. A consortium of FutureGov, Arup and Stance is running a scoping study for a London Office of Technology and Innovation function. By the end of 2017, we will propose a new way of collaborating across London public services.

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