UK’s digital and data office seeks workforce strategy lead, 12 EU countries forecast to miss 2030 climate targets: news in brief

By on 04/07/2024 | Updated on 08/07/2024
Image: Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

Global Government Forum’s weekly news roundup of public service intelligence

In this edition:

UK’s CDDO seeks workforce strategy lead

Image: fauxels/Pexels

The UK Cabinet Office is looking to hire a head of workforce strategy and transformation to work within its Central Digital and Data Office (CDDO). 

The CDDO leads the government’s digital and data function and exists to help state departments achieve digital transformation across their operations and services. 

The new head of workforce strategy and transformation will earn a base salary of between £64,700 (US$82,568) and £69,200 (US$88,324), and is expected to be stationed in Bristol or Manchester. The role represents what the government called “the primary interface between the capability team and CDDO’s analysis and strategy functions”. 

The government added that the role will require “robust analytical skills, influencing and storytelling abilities”.    

Once hired, this candidate will “develop and implement integrated solutions that enable the digital and data profession to attract, retain and develop the talent it needs to transform government services and adapt to changing workforce dynamics”.  
Their priorities will be to steer the development of the Government Digital and Data Capability Framework, paying close attention to how this can open up new career pathways. They will also ensure that this framework meets existing service standards and is integrated successfully with other government digital products. 
The new hire will partner with the Government People Group strategic workforce planning centre of excellence to help “foster our profession’s ability to be nimble and to adapt to a rapidly evolving organisational landscape”. The resulting plan will subsequently be used to guide departments’ resourcing decisions. 

The successful candidate will also be expected to implement strong standards in both talent attraction and recruitment processes, which the government said will “improve candidate experience and create robust talent pipelines”.

Read Global Government Forum’s Management and Workforce Monitor: Trump supporters develop ‘blacklist’ of federal workers, UK civil service prepares for election results, and more

12 EU countries forecast to miss 2030 national climate targets

Pollution rising into the sky from factories surrounded by green crop fields.
Photo by Johannes Plenio via Pexels

Twelve EU countries are on course to miss their national climate targets under the Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR), a new study analysing national climate plans finds.

According to the research by advocacy group Transport & Environment (T&E) seven more countries are also at risk of not meeting their goals.

Germany and Italy were ranked as the two “worst performing countries” (with gaps of 10 and 7.7 percentage points respectively). It is also calculated that France will only meet its target by a very close margin.

Under the ESR, EU member states have to meet climate targets for five key sectors: road transport, buildings, small industry, waste, and agriculture. Targets were designed according to each country’s GDP, with richer countries having to meet higher emissions reduction targets. The overall goal for the EU is to reduce emissions by 40% by 2030, compared to 2005, across the five sectors.

T&E warned that missing the targets will also carry an economic as well as environmental cost.  Countries missing their targets can purchase carbon credits from those that do meet them. The price of credits is decided bilaterally between countries but T&E notes that on the current trajectory, there will be a “scarcity of credits”, which could drive up their prices. Germany could face a bill of €16.2bn to buy credits and Italy a €15.5bn bill.

Sofie Defour, climate director at T&E, said: “Germany and Italy are eating up all available carbon credits from their neighbours, leaving them stranded and at risk of legal proceedings.”

She added: “The sheer amount of penalties countries might need to pay in 2030 is mind blowing. Countries face a clear choice: pay billions to their neighbours for their carbon debt, or implement new policies that improve the life of their own citizens, such as insulating houses. There are still six years to course correct.”

The analysis finds that the countries that are likely to overachieve on their climate targets are Spain, Greece and Poland. Spain is rated as likely to overachieve on its 2030 target by seven percentage points and could receive €10 billion from countries that are not on track.

Countries had to submit National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs) outlining how they intend to meet the ESR targets by the 30 June. T&E reviewed the draft NECPs and more recent projections for its analysis.

Read Global Government Forum’s latest Sustainability Monitor: The missing link in national climate plans – cities, green pledges in UK election manifestos, and more

Canadian government updates hosting strategy to address cloud cost concerns

Brian Penny from Pixabay

The Canadian government has published an updated strategy for the use of cloud and other application hosting technologies with the aim of improving cost effectiveness and value for government.

The 2024 Application Hosting Strategy sets out how Canadian government departments and organisations should deploy and run software applications – whether on servers located in data centres or on cloud-based infrastructure.

Traditionally, governments either outsource the hosting and management of applications to specialised service providers on cloud technology, or can opt to host these applications within their own enterprise data centre facilities.

However, this new strategy is intended to balance these two options to improve agility, scalability, risk mitigation, and cost-effectiveness, with the overall vision being that the government has “an application hosting ecosystem that enables robust stewardship, smart procurement, sustainable funding, and centralised services”.

This policy replaces the government’s Cloud Adoption Strategy, with the government stating there was a need for policy change “to ensure a sustainable future in which Canadians continue to receive high-quality digital services while optimising costs”.

The vision of the new strategy is therefore to “provide optimal application hosting solutions that are cost effective with high business value to support the delivery of digital services to Canadians”. The strategy says this will be achieved through six elements:

  • Sustainable funding models, with effective spend and cost controls, shape application hosting ecosystem
  • Procurement power that mitigates business risks
  • Applications are onboarded in an agile way
  • The government has access to optimised, secure shared hosting solutions
  • The government has improved ability to serve Canadians
  • Application hosting solution decision-making is clear and transparent​

The updated strategy also gives responsibilities to both the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) and Shared Services Canada (SSC). TBS will set strategic direction and guidance for government, as well as monitor progress, while SSC will work to implement direction and guidance, deliver hosting services, and make operational decisions with institutions.

Federal institutions themselves have been tasked with addressing technical risk, modernising applications to drive effectiveness, and managing cloud and/or data centre consumption costs as agreed with TBS and SSC.

Global Government Forum’s AccelerateGOV conference, hosted in partnership with the Government of Canada, will bring together public service leaders from around the world to share insight on how to drive digitalization and transformation in government. The event, taking place on 21 October in Ottawa, is free for public servants. Register to attend here.

Read Global Government Forum’s latest Digital and Data Monitor: UK election manifesto tech takeaways, a personal reflection on transforming digital services, and more

Canadian government launches public consultation on AI computing infrastructure 

Image: Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

As well as the Application Hosting Strategy, the Canadian government has also launched a Consultation on Artificial Intelligence (AI) Compute, which aims to develop a new fund and accompanying strategy to strengthen the country’s AI computing infrastructure.  

The consultation is part of the government’s next push to invest in “the responsible development and use of AI across Canada’s economy and society”. 

“The Government of Canada seeks to build on Canada’s leadership in AI and increase domestic access to the compute power that researchers and AI developers require for training and deployment,” a statement said. 

The consultation will be used to determine the design and implementation of two initiatives: the government’s AI Compute Access Fund, and its Canadian AI Sovereign Compute Strategy. These initiatives seek to provide Canadian researchers and AI companies with “the tools needed to be competitive in a rapidly advancing global AI landscape”, the government stated. Together, they will require an investment of CAN$2bn (US$783.3m).  
The consultation is also expected to include a discussion paper outlining Canada’s opportunity and ambition on AI, known as the AI Blueprint. François-Philippe Champagne, Canada’s minister of innovation, science and industry, made the formal announcement of the consultation.

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada will hold discussions with a range of stakeholders, including AI companies, businesses, researchers, and Indigenous groups.

Read Global Government Forum’s latest AI Monitor: Professor Sue Black on AI and education, innovation challenge winner tackles major AI barriers, and more

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