Webinar Round-Up: General Election and the Impact of New Government Policies on Public Sector Technology

Julia Esgate Christmas

The recent webinar 'General Election and the Impact of New Government Policies on Public Sector Technology' hosted by GovNet Tech and DigiGov Expo took place on Tuesday 25th June 2024. GovNet Tech and DigiGov Expo welcomed Simon Newman, co-founder of Cyber London, Miranda Sharp, Member, Mayor of London’s Infrastructure Advisory Panel and Sam Smith, Director of Institute, Socitm to discuss the critical intersection of politics and technology. With the upcoming general election, this topic is of significant relevance to public sector technology employees as the outcomes of the upcoming election will aid in shaping the future of technology use in the public sector.  

Webinar On Demand

Watch the webinar on-demand HERE.

What Took Place?

Election Manifestos and Technology Funding 

The panellists critically examined the election manifestos from a technology perspective. Sam Smith pointed out the lack of concrete funding commitments for leveraging existing and emerging technologies, which are crucial for local government transformation and addressing financial challenges. Miranda Sharp added that while AI is often touted as both a panacea and a threat, there needs to be a balanced, realistic approach to its application in public sector technology. 

Place-Based Approach

Sam Smith advocated for a place-based approach to delivering public services, arguing that each region’s unique characteristics necessitate tailored technological solutions. Sam emphasised the need for local authorities to have the flexibility to implement technologies that best serve their communities, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach dictated by central government. 

Digital Inclusion

The issue of digital inclusion was also discussed. Sam highlighted the disparities in connectivity, device availability, and digital skills across different regions, stressing the importance of ensuring that all citizens have access to digital services. Sam called for stronger commitments to digital inclusion in political manifestos. 

Cyber Security Concerns

Simon Newman expressed disappointment at the minimal attention given to cyber security in the election manifestos. Simon highlighted the increasing threats from cyber criminals targeting the public sector, including attacks caused by organised crime. Despite its critical importance, cyber security remains a low priority in political agendas, potentially leaving the public sector vulnerable. 

Regulation and Innovation

Addressing a question from the audience, Miranda Sharp discussed the balance between harnessing technology for growth and implementing strong regulations for online safety. She cautioned against the unrealistic expectation that regulation and innovation can be equally prioritised without conflict, suggesting that the need for economic growth might overshadow regulatory measures. 


The webinar concluded with a call for more forward-thinking policies that prioritise technology and cyber security in the public sector. The panellists underscored the need for adequate funding, tailored regional approaches, and a strong commitment to digital inclusion to ensure that technological advancements benefit all citizens and protect public sector infrastructures from cyber threats. 

As the general election approaches very soon on 4th July, it remains to be seen how these critical issues will be addressed by the incoming government – whoever they may be and what impact their policies will have on the future of public sector technology. Check out the webinar on demand here.

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Ready to continue the conversation? Join us at the first major tech show for the UK public sector post-election – DigiGov Expo. Taking place 24th & 25th September at the ExCeL, London, the DigiGov Expo provides an unparalleled opportunity to explore the next government’s technology policies and priorities. Sign up for your free public sector place HERE.