miércoles, 30 de marzo de 2016

Governance Structures for Digital Policies (II)

(This post contains draft material of the article published in Business Value Exchange)

Some days ago, we reviewed in the blog some governance structures where governments and society collaborate in the design of digital policies. According with the complexity of the challenges posed by digital transformation, governments has established different models of councils and boards for cross-sectoral cooperation with industry, society and academia. Besides this external governance structure, within the governments are also flourished new structures for whole-of-government cooperation for the support of the digital transformation of economy and society.

The best known and more ambitious example of interdepartmental structure for cooperation in the design of digital political is the European Commission. The EU executive designed by President Juncker is structured around seven vice presidents, which are responsible for the transversal policy coherence in the actions proposed by other commissioners. The EU digital policy, the development of the Digital Single Market, is coordinated by a Vice President, who oversees the complementarity of sectoral digital transformation actions proposed by the other commissioners.

In Germany, the Federal Government has taken advantage of the approval of the Digital Agenda for Germany 2014-2017 for the creation of a cross-sectoral committee. Under the name of the Digital Agenda Steering Committee, it has created a body of collaboration that aims at the early detection and analysis of the new challenges posed by the digital transformation. The committee is led by the Ministry of Economy and Energy (responsible for the Digital Agenda), with the special support of the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, both co-authors of  the Digital Agenda. They also take part in the Committee other relevant federal departments in the development of the Agenda. One visible outcome of the interdepartmental collaboration in the German Government's position paper on the Digital Single Market.

After the last election victory of the Conservative Party in the United Kingdom, the Government established a series of Committees and Taskforces for the implementation of cross-cutting nature policy priorities. The purpose of the Working Groups is to detect the bottlenecks for each policy implementation and the development of joint plans for overcoming this obstacles. The structure of the working groups also ensures accountability on these priorities and the assessment of their development through regular meetings with the Prime Minister. In the field of digital economy, it has been established a Digital infrastructure and inclusion Taskforce . The main mission of this group is "Driving the roll out of universal broadband and better mobile phone connections, to ensure everyone is part of the digital economy". The group is chaired by the Minister of Digital Economy and the Cabinet Office, the Treasury, Communities and Local Government department and the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport. The government has not released more information about its activities, even after a Parliament's request.

The above structures are setting the model for other countries. There is no alternative to cross-sectoral collaboration for a complete digital transformation of economy and society. Otherwise, new pockets of exclusion and inequality will appear. The multistakeholder collaboration in digital policies is the only guarantee for not leaving anyone behind.

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