CDO Update: Transforming our services – the story so far

Darllenwch y dudalen hon yn Gymraeg

Since the introduction of our digital and data blog we’ve featured a number of different projects but with lots going on I thought I’d share some of our success stories and update you on some exciting new projects.

Up and running

The last year has been extremely busy and as an organisation we’ve seen some real achievements by taking a digital approach to introducing new services and transforming existing ones. Here are just a few examples:

  •  One-year anniversary of the Welsh Revenue Authority

The Welsh Revenue Authority (WRA) is the first cloud-based civil service organisation set up in Wales and celebrated its one-year anniversary in October 2018. Although only a year old it is already stacking up the achievements with a UK IT Award for their digital tax system which was launched in April. Sean Melody from WRA wrote a guest blog post explaining the work behind the digital transformation project.

  •  Hwb’s user identity service moves in house

If you’ve not heard about Hwb before, it’s an online platform which provides access to a wide range of bilingual online tools and resources to support teaching and learning. It’s also one of our biggest digital programmes.

Over the last few months the Hwb team have been working hard to bring part of the service in house. If you’re interested in finding out more about what they’ve been doing I recommend reading their recent blog post.

  • Launch of Welsh Planning Portal

In May 2019 we launched a digital planning portal called ‘Planning Applications Wales’. Fully bilingual, this Wales-specific service enables people to submit planning applications electronically using smart forms.

Introduced as a successor to a previous England-and-Wales service, we took the opportunity of implementing a new service to review and streamline, where possible, the content of our forms to help users.

  • Welsh Technology Plan

You may have seen that we recently published a Welsh Language Technology Action Plan, which outlines our aim to increase the use of Welsh language technology. It is hoped that implementing the actions in the plan will enable the language to be used in as many situations as possible, and as a result increase the use of Welsh more generally. To find out more about the action plan take a look at this short video:


What’s new?

I’m pleased that we’re building on our successes and learning from our experiences –good and bad! I think this is extremely important, especially when we have the following projects to focus on:

  •  Lle next?

One of our first ever and one of your more popular blogs was about ‘Lle’ our geo-spatial data platform. Since publishing the blog post there’s been lots going on, especially following the growing realisation that Lle can be used to help make effective policy and delivery decisions across the Welsh Government.

Earlier this year Lle was used by the Valleys Taskforce to help determine potential locations for strategic hubs. As a result of its successful contribution, the taskforce named Lle as one of three digital pilot schemes to be taken forward.

Building on the growing interest, and general increased profile for geospatial data we are developing Lle into an authoritative geo-spatial data platform for public sector data in Wales. Taking this approach will enable people to easily access data and will remove the need for other public bodies to buy or develop their own geo-spatial platforms.

There will be more information on this work as it progresses but in the meantime feel free to contact the team with any thoughts or feedback:

  •  Launch of Digital Apprenticeship Scheme

Last year we told you about a group of digital apprentices who had joined Welsh Government. Following its success, we have developed a more specific digital, data and technology (DDaT) pathway apprenticeship scheme.

This scheme will give apprentices a flavour of the different roles available in the profession whilst developing their digital, data and technology skills. The aim of the scheme is to help the apprentices become a member of the DDaT Profession and set a clear career path for them should they wish to follow it.

We’re excited to pilot this scheme and expect to have our first intake by April 2019. If you’re interested in the scheme keep an eye on @CDOWales for more information on how to apply.

  •  New exporters’ portal

You may also like to be aware that we’ve recently published a prior information notice to potential suppliers to procure a new online exporters’ portal. Further information on this procurement can be found on the Sell2Wales website.


And in other news

  •  New Digital Transformation Panel

A new external panel has been established by Julie James AM, Leader of the House, and the Minister responsible for digital, to provide both advice and challenge on how public services can be improved through better use of digital technologies.

The panel, which is chaired by Lee Waters AM is currently seeking feedback from across the Welsh public sector to find out how to best achieve transformation through better use of digital. It’s aiming to complete some initial findings next month. More information can be found in our recent press release.

  • ICT’s coming home

In January 2019 we will be taking over responsibility for managing our ICT infrastructure and services.

So why have we decided to do this? Well the emergence of Cloud services, coupled with the end of our existing contract, has given us the opportunity to completely redesign how we manage and implement our internal ICT services. Also, making use of the opportunities presented by Cloud we will be able to build new digital services in a more agile way, responding to user needs, new requirements and priorities as they emerge.

So, an exciting, yet extremely busy, couple of months ahead of us. We’ll keep you posted on the developments of these projects and others via this blog, but in the meantime feel free to get in touch by commenting below or sending us an email using

Caren Fullerton – Chief Digital Officer, Welsh Government