News & views

We collate and provide links to news and views from around the world to help share ideas and thinking for policy makers, procurers, providers, and any other organisations working in the public sector sphere to deliver better public services.

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News: Canada’s first open roads autonomous shuttle begins operations in Montreal
The city and Transdev Canada worked together on several test projects, including one within Montreal’s Olympic Park and Stadium, prior to the start of this service. The current project, which operates using two EasyMile EZ10 autonomous shuttles, will serve for planning purposes and help determine the technology’s potential for sustainable public transit in Montreal. (
3rd July 2019
New Thinking: Five steps for building the world’s most innovative government
Earlier this month, the government published its Technology Innovation Strategy. This announcement represents the government’s strongest ever commitment to embracing innovation and cutting-edge technology. (source:
3rd July 2019
News: Smart cities spending to reach $189 billion in 2023
The latest IDC smart cities spending guide highlights priority areas as resilient energy and infrastructure projects followed by data-driven public safety and intelligent transportation. (source:
3rd July 2019
News: New Prisons Minister's speech on modernising criminal justice
Robert Buckland QC spoke at the Modernising Criminal Justice Conference in his first keynote speech as the Minister of State for Justice. (source:
26th June 2019
New Thinking: Healthcare technology will change lives, eventually
There is some way to go before game-changing technologies are deployed to revolutionise patient care and the working practices of healthcare professionals, but there are encouraging signs of progress. (source:
21st June 2019
News: Darwin switches on Australia's largest smart city
The $10 million project includes 912 LED lights, installation of 138 CCTV cameras and, the addition of 39 new hotspots to extend the city’s free wi-fi. (source:
19th June 2019
New Thinking: What does the next generation of digital public services need to deliver?
To help bridge the inequalities in our society, we must further look to deploy technologies to support citizens to make informed choices and access the various public services and benefits to which they may be entitled.(source:
18th June 2019
New Thinking: How Stockholm is leading the way for Smart Cities
Stockholm is one of the world’s most connected cities, and a beacon for innovators and international talent. We are also a forward-looking city, leading the environmental and smart city agendas. By 2040, we have the ambition to be both carbon neutral and the smartest city in the world. (Source:
14th June 2019
News: UK civil servants to learn about innovation from digital companies
Government Technology Innovation Strategy has set out plans to boost the number of civil servants on secondments to digital companies to “learn from their innovative culture”.(Source:
14th June 2019
News: Australia joins others in signing up to ethical AI guidelines
Last week, Australia and 42 other countries signed up to the OECD's policy guidelines for the ethical development and use of AI. Though very broad, these guidelines seek to form a shared baseline from which to address the very real threat AI may pose to human rights and our way of life if left unchecked. This baseline can, of course, be further developed by other countries, Australia being one example, but by implementing these shared values we can hopefully begin to form a set of rules that can be accepted globally (source:
29th May 2019
New Thinking: User-centred policy design; when is the right time?
Designing policy based around the voices of citizens is, understandably, not always possible or appropriate. There are many instances, however, when these voices can contribute a vast amount and can make or break a policy's outcome. Here, Steve Moilanen explores the idea of "user-centred" design and suggests three situations in which using the process can be most effective (source:
29th May 2019
News: Vancouver's aim to be 100% renewable by 2050
The city of Vancouver has announced its desire to derive 100% of its energy from renewable sources by 2050. Its ambitious plans include targeting new builds, altering transportation infrastructure and simplifying access to electronic vehicles. Leading the way in urban energy transformation, other cities may look to Vancouver to find their own solutions to emissions and energy inefficiency (source:
29th May 2019
News: Dubai opens new technological research facility
Joining the four other Centres for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) around the globe, Dubai's new facility aims to support the transformation of the region into an innovative technological hub and paves the way for the city to become truly 'smart' (source:
29th May 2019
New Thinking: The Middle East's burgeoning technological revolution
A growing youth population and new government initiatives in some Middle Eastern countries place the region on the cusp of a technological revolution; however, there are challenges to be overcome. Here, Khalid Al Rumaihi (Chief Executive, Bahrain Economic Development Board) discusses how funding for start ups and relaxing of data sovereignty rules can allow growth in this already fertile ground (source:
29th May 2019
Report: Growing focus on social value in UK local authorities
A new report, based on research by Social Enterprise UK, reveals that local councils in the UK are increasingly making spending decisions based not only on cost but also on economic, social and environmental impacts. Data from central government was sadly not significant enough to be analysed but the report provides several recommendations to further improve uptake of social value initiatives (source:
29th May 2019
Blog: Speech by Rupert Soames, Chief Executive of Serco, to the IACCM
Serco CEO speaks to the International Association for Contract and Commercial Management on the pains of doing business with governments with regard to formality versus speed, procurement challenges inherent to the political system, lack of flexibility and the perils of monopoly markets (source: Rupert Soames, CEO Serco plc)
17th May 2019
New Thinking: How to keep the robots from taking jobs
Recent advances in technology have left millions at risk of unemployment through being replaced by machines. Politico asks what tools are available to governments and other organisations to help them respond to this potential crisis (source:
14th May 2019
Policy News: France to make public procurement of food more sustainable
Didier Guillaume, French minister of Agriculture and Food, has established the National Council for Collective Catering, with a focus on organic, sustainable and nutritional food. At a time when problems caused by unhealthy eating and unsustainable food production are high on governmental agendas, it will be interesting to see if this initiative is picked up internationally (source:
10th May 2019
New Thinking: Crowdsourced data to help air pollution, traffic congestion and infrastructure use
Consumers give away a vast amount of data for free to the apps they use. has thought to harness this to improve air pollution, traffic congestion and other city infrastructure. Data collection is of course voluntary and can be crowdsourced on a very local level to make travel more efficient and the air cleaner. They have received EU funding and are looking to expand and implement new technologies (source:
9th May 2019
Policy News: Australian Government publishes Digital Transformation Strategy
The Australian Government has published a Digital Transformation Strategy aimed at allowing citizens digital access to all government services by 2025. The aim is not only to provide Australian citizens with one easy login to all services but also to encourage more interaction at both national and local levels. Will this be more successful than previous ambitions? Only time will tell. (source:
8th May 2019
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