The launch is marked by the publication of a report by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR), which identifies a public spending shortfall of £27 billion in Scotland. This follows a nationwide portrait that identified a £300 billion spending gap across the UK.
The research warns that the cost of Brexit combined with demographic pressures will create a widening gap between Scotland’s swelling needs, and what public services will be able to deliver in the future. To address the issue, the paper argues for improving the efficiency of public service delivery so that more can be achieved with less.
Sopra Steria has a proud history as a service provider for government, particularly in Scotland. Today’s announcement will see it refocusing its offering by deploying digital techniques to transform the quality and efficiency of public services.
Its recent appointment to deliver a new, innovative visa application service for UKVI demonstrates its commitment to building a new model of public service delivery for all. And in Scotland, this vision is being brought to life by seconding one of Sopra Steria’s digital leaders, Scottish Regional Director Alison McLaughlin, to a Digital Fellowship Programme being run out of the Scottish Government’s Digital Directorate.
Commenting on the launch of the Scottish research and repositioning of the government business, Sopra Steria Managing Director for Government, Adrian Fieldhouse, said:
“This research shows that government continues to face a significant challenge as it attempts to modernise and transform public services whilst tightly managing public spending. Without hiking public sector spending, we need to consider other, viable alternatives, including the use of transformational techniques to meet the fiscal challenges.
We have shown this is possible through the recent UKVI announcement – which is a great example of a service designed with the end user in mind. If we don’t pursue different outcomes, then our public services may face an untenable situation, where they cannot deliver services in the way they have always done. Simply because, the public purse won’t sustain it.”
Mags Moore, the new Head of Government for Scotland and Northern Ireland at Sopra Steria, also added:
“Scotland is a key market for Sopra Steria and we are excited to embrace a new direction that will see us continue and strengthen our close work with the public sector in Scotland through supporting digital opportunities to drive change.
We plan to take this research and continue to build on it – this isn’t about creating problems, it’s about coming up with solutions. We’ve often said that we have ‘skin in the game’, and this is particularly true in Scotland. Programmes like Digital Leaders and SOCITM are living proof that we take this commitment seriously, and I look forward to leading the new government strategy in Scotland.”
Read the NIESR/ Sopra Steria report in full.