Fantastic Four for Digital in Wales

Fantastic Four for Digital in Wales

In 2018, a report titled ‘System Reboot’ was published which offered recommendations on how to deliver effective digital change in Wales. One recommendation being to establish clear digital leadership. Off the back of this recommendation, there has been a new approach to digital leadership in Wales.

This blog post is going to give a brief overview of the 4 teams that make up the digital leadership in Wales to (hopefully) provide clarity over how this quartet is set up.

Digital Team for Welsh Local Authorities

Chief Digital Officer: Sam Hall

Remit: To support and champion digital across the 22 local authorities in Wales.

Summary: This is a new team. Sam joined the WLGA toward the end of November 2020 as the first member, with the rest of the team starting in the first half of 2021. The focus for the team is to improve digital services in the 22 local authorities in Wales. The strategy of the team highlights 3 principles they will look to follow to achieve this:

  • The championing of Human Centred Design, with the aim of ensuring every service is designed to address specific needs of people accessing local government services.
  • The second principle is to work with partners to improve the Data functions of the Local Authorities. This is to enable data driven decision making and to proactively identify ways to help communities.
  • The third principle is a capability model. The team is going to create a multidisciplinary team that will be available for local authorities to call upon to help create effective digital services for their residents. 

Welsh Government Digital

Chief Digital Officer: Glyn Jones

Remit: To deliver better Welsh Government services and to oversee the digital service offering of Wales as a whole.

Summary: The Welsh Government (WG) will be focussing on how it can improve its own digital services, but also the services provided by Wales as a collective. WG have summarised this in their vision by detailing 6 separate missions:

  • Mission 1 is around digital services. WG will deliver and modernise services so that they are designed around user needs.
  • Mission 2 is concerning digital inclusion. WG are focussed on equipping people with the motivation, access, skills and confidence to engage with a digital world. 
  • Mission 3 is regarding digital skills. WG want to create a workforce that has the digital skills, capability and confidence to excel in and out of the workplace.
  • Mission 4 is focussed on the digital economy. WG aim to drive economic prosperity and resilience by embracing and exploiting digital innovation.
  • Mission 5 is about digital connectivity. WG want to ensure that services are supported by fast and reliable infrastructure.
  • Mission 6 touches on data and collaboration. WG aims to ensure that services are improved by working together, with data and knowledge being used and shared.

NHS Wales Digital

Chief Digital Officer: Yet to be appointed

Remit: To deliver improved services for all 7 health boards and 3 NHS trusts in Wales.

Summary: The focus for this team will be all digital services for health and social care in Wales. The Chief Digital Officer for Health and Care will define national standards for digital software and services, as part of moving to an open digital architecture, across all digital systems. The CDO will also advise Welsh Government on digital strategy, lead the digital profession, and be a champion for digital health and care in Wales.

More details about this can be found on the Welsh Government website.

Centre for Digital Public Services (CDPS)

Chief Executive: Sally Meecham (Interim)

Remit: To support the delivery of better public services across the whole public sector in Wales.

Summary: The Centre is a relatively new organisation who are an arm’s length body of the Welsh Government. The Centre has been formed to address the common challenges experienced in the Welsh public sector, particularly around training, good practice sharing and expert personnel for service transformation. To help solve these challenges, the centre is currently working on 3 main projects:

  • The first is a Digital Transformation Squad. The squad will provide hands-on engagement, helping teams working on digital projects in Wales to start using agile working methods and internet-era tools and techniques.
  • Secondly, the Centre is focussing on digital skills. They are providing targeted digital training to senior leaders, chief executives, elected members, and other public sector staff.
  • Finally, producing a Knowledge Hub. The Hub will look at ways to help clarify and easily share technical and service design standards across the Welsh public sector.


In summary, there will be overlap within these teams and they will support each other on projects or workstreams, but they do all have their specific area to support.

The Digital Team for Welsh Local Authorities will prioritise the 22 Local Authorities.

The Welsh Government Digital team will concentrate on Welsh Government’s Digital Services.

NHS Digital will support all digital development in health and social care.

The Centre for Digital Public Services will focus on projects that need separate public organisations to work together.

All the digital leadership across Wales share a single goal, to make digital public services better for people living, working, and visiting Wales.

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