The State of the State in 2024

The UK Public seek Government Efficiency

Deloitte’s ‘The State of the State 2024’ survey, conducted by Ipsos UK, assessed public experiences with government services and gathered opinions on desired improvements. The survey revealed that people value:-

  • quick and easy access to services,
  • accountability,
  • consistency across different areas,
  • clear communication,
  • and high-quality services with expert staff.

As mentioned in the report, a digital approach would be a vital part of achieving these priorities.

Trust is on the decline, particularly regarding delivery.

This year’s findings indicate a divided public opinion on prioritising higher government spending or lowering taxes. However, there is a clear agreement on the need for improvements in the public sector.

Following several challenging years in the UK, the survey reflects a predominantly pessimistic outlook on the government’s capacity for change yet retains a glimmer of optimism about the future.

The chart below illustrates the current levels of trust in the UK’s central government administrations based on six criteria. Since the previous survey, trust has declined across most of these areas. Notably, the lowest levels of trust concern the government’s effectiveness in achieving results for the public and successfully completing major projects.

The public desires services that are accessible and accountable.

Deloitte’s survey examined the public’s experiences with public services and inquired about desired improvements. The chart accompanying this summary consolidates responses from across the UK, showing that the primary concern for most is ease and speed of access; people want timely and responsive services.

Accountability ranked second, indicating a strong desire for services that listen to feedback and effectively address issues when they arise. The consistency of services across different locations was the third priority, closely followed by the ease of communication. The quality of the services and the expertise of the staff jointly ranked fifth.

These priorities highlight a straightforward yet significant expectation: people want reliable, high-quality services that are easily accessible, simple to communicate with, and quick to respond to complaints. In contrast, aspects such as collaboration with private or voluntary sectors, personalisation, and data sharing between agencies ranked lower, suggesting that the public prioritises the end results of services over the details of their implementation.

Moreover, only one in four respondents considered offering more choices within public services a top priority, possibly reflecting a preference for ensuring high-quality standards for all rather than extensive options for individuals.

The prioritisation of digital technology is notably lower, indicating a general disinterest in the operational aspects of the public sector rather than a dismissal of technology itself. Nevertheless, digital technology is crucial for enhancing the elements of public services that people value most.

Analysis of the survey data reveals that those over 55 are more inclined to seek improvements in services compared to the 16-34 age group. However, younger individuals are more concerned with the environmental implications of public services and their technological integration. Additionally, women are more likely than men to emphasise the importance of easy contact and having choices in services.

Deloitte’s survey explored public priorities for improving communication with public services. The chart illustrates that the most common request is for services that do not require users to repeatedly provide the same personal details with each interaction. Additionally, over a third of respondents value the ability to contact services outside standard business hours, both offline and online.

Lesser but still significant priorities include more flexible appointment scheduling, consistent contact points, and reminders for upcoming deadlines. These preferences were consistent throughout the UK. These findings suggest that the public expects a level of customer service similar to what is often found in the private sector. However, there is an understanding that the public sector may not offer as much flexibility. Despite a general push towards online services, about 34 per cent of the public indicated a need for improvements in offline communication options, such as phone or in-person interactions.

Digitalisation holds the key.

In conclusion, Deloitte’s survey underscores a critical opportunity for digitalisation to enhance government services, meeting public demands for greater accessibility, accountability, and efficiency. Although digital technology is not currently a top priority for people, it holds the key to addressing many of their concerns by streamlining processes, reducing the need for repeated information provision, ensuring consistency across various locations, and enhancing communication channels—both online and offline.

Contact us today to discover how Centerprise International can help you achieve your digital transformation goals while accommodating your budgetary limitations. 

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