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Parliamentary Debates and Questions

S5W-08363: Jamie Greene (West Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 23 March 2017

To ask the Scottish Government what the aim is of its Digital Directorate; what the directorate's budget is; how many staff it employs and what the annual staffing cost is, and what information it can provide regarding its (a) structure, (b) governance and (c) chain of accountability.

Answered by: Derek Mackay 13 April 2017

The role of the Digital Directorate within the Scottish Government is to lead the development and oversee the delivery of Scotland’s digital strategy. This includes responsibility for operating the corporate ICT systems of the Scottish Government, working with partners to deliver our commitment to extend access to superfast broadband to 100% of premises by end 2021, supporting the growth of digital skills and enabling the reform of public services through the application of digital technology. The Directorate is responsible for £136m of programme funding, £9m of direct running costs and employs approximately 440 staff on a mix of permanent and fixed term contracts.

The Directorate is being restructured currently in order to introduce a new, dedicated data and statistics division. This process will be completed during April 2017, resulting in a directorate with 5 divisions:

Information Services and Information Systems, whose primary role is to support the organisation’s IT infrastructure and deliver the new assurance framework for digital/ technology projects;

Connectivity, Economy and Participation, which is responsible for policy advice and delivery on broadband and mobile telecommunications, digital skills and enterprise support, and promoting digital participation;

Digital Public Services and Business Transformation, which primarily supports the wider Scottish Government and public sector in delivering digital transformation of services;

Office of the Chief Information Officer, which oversees Scottish Government’s new digital/ ICT assurance processes and provides professional leadership and development for ICT staff;

Data and Statistics, which will lead on the use of data across the Scottish Government and beyond, ensuring that any such approaches enjoy the trust and confidence of the people of Scotland.

The Digital Director reports to Director-General Communities, who then reports to Scottish Government’s Permanent Secretary. Within Scottish Government, Directors are accountable to Ministers for policy decisions, and work with Directors-General and the Permanent Secretary on general management decisions.

I have overall responsibility for Scotland’s digital strategy. However, the cross-cutting nature of the digital agenda is reflected in the distribution of Ministerial responsibilities. In particular:

Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills –cyber security and digital skills

Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity – improving connectivity across Scotland

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs - digital participation

Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work –promoting Scotland’s digital economy