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Present (via Teams)

  • Rt. Hon. Mark Drakeford MS (Chair)
  • Rebecca Evans MS
  • Vaughan Gething MS
  • Lesley Griffiths MS
  • Julie James MS
  • Eluned Morgan MS
  • Ken Skates MS
  • Kirsty Williams MS
  • Jeremy Miles MS
  • Hannah Blythyn MS
  • Jane Hutt MS
  • Julie Morgan MS
  • Dafydd Elis Thomas MS
  • Lee Waters MS

Officials

  • Shan Morgan, Permanent Secretary
  • Des Clifford, Director General Office of the First Minister
  • Carys Evans, Principal Private Secretary First Minister
  • Will Whiteley, Head of Cabinet Division
  • Toby Mason, Head of Strategic Communications
  • Jane Runeckles, Special Adviser
  • Madeleine Brindley, Special Adviser
  • Alex Bevan, Special Adviser
  • Ian Butler, Special Adviser
  • Kate Edmunds, Special Adviser
  • Sarah Faye, Special Adviser
  • Paul Griffiths, Special Adviser
  • Clare Jenkins, Special Adviser
  • Andrew Johnson, Special Adviser
  • Gareth Williams, Special Adviser
  • Mitch Theaker, Special Adviser
  • Tom Woodward, Special Adviser
  • Christopher W Morgan, Cabinet Secretariat (minutes)
  • Damian Roche, Cabinet Secretariat
  • Jonathan Scourfield, Specialist Policy Adviser
  • Dewi Knight, Specialist Adviser for Education Reform 
  • Andrew Goodall, Director General, Health 
  • Glyn Jones, Chief Digital Officer

Item 1: Digital Strategy for Wales

  1. The Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport introduced the paper which asked Cabinet to agree the proposed approach to a wide dialogue on the draft Digital Strategy for Wales.
  2. Digital solutions which created user-centred services were critical drivers of modern public services. There was a need to ensure that people in Wales were able to experience modern, efficient and streamlined public services, while stimulating innovation in the economy and supporting outcomes for future generations.
  3. COVID-19 had been a catalyst in the transformational journey, enabling many to work remotely while providing essential online public services. This transformation had been rapid, agile and responsive.
  4. The Centre for Digital Public Services, which was launched in June, had been established to act as a hub to identify, stimulate and support collaboration across the public sector to transform public services, so that they met the needs and expectations of the user. The adult social care system had been identified as a priority to develop the value of collaboration and of placing the user at the heart of service design.
  5. In the first rapid digital transformation project, the centre was leading work with Neath Port Talbot, Torfaen and Blaenau Gwent local authorities to improve user experiences of accessing adult social care. 
  6. A further example of transformation was the work of Caerphilly Council in using artificial intelligence (AI) to help provide free school meals. AI had removed a repetitive and mundane task from its catering services and had enabled the redeployment of staff from administrative work to other more critical roles. This had also enabled the council to reinvest savings back into the business, improve staff morale and increase data input accuracy, while improving the speed of the application process. It was hoped that this could be extended to free school milk and the Blue Badge systems.
  7. There had been a significant amount of cross-government work in developing the proposals and it was recommended that the draft strategy should be launched on 1st December, as part of a statement to the Senedd. This consultation would be managed through a series of blogs devoted to each of the chapters within the strategy, to enable the digital community to engage actively in the process and allow the government to adapt its approach, if needed. The final strategy would be presented to Cabinet early in the new year.
  8. Cabinet welcomed the paper and recognised that the proposed strategy was about meeting service user needs to ensure that they had the right level of support.
  9. Cabinet approved the paper.

Item 2: Any other business

  1. The First Minister informed Cabinet that he had met with the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and the First Ministers of Scotland and Northern Ireland the previous day to discuss a common approach to COVID-19 restrictions during the festive season.
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