Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Cabinet Office and Lead Minister for GDS, Caroline Nokes MP, lends her support to GovNewsDirect for the Public Sector Paperless Awards. The Awards, a recognition of excellence in the public sector for innovations in transformation, digitising information and reducing paper waste, take place on Thursday 6th July at the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington with over 250 delegates expected.

The Right Honourable Caroline Nokes MP, who was appointed lead minister for the Government Digital Service last week has already shown her support for the awards event.

She says, “The Public Sector Paperless Awards provide a welcome opportunity to recognise and reward those contributing to public sector digital transformation. Decreasing our use of paper is a key part of our strategy to transform the way government works through digital tools and techniques - and is, of course, a laudable goal in its own right.

“By harnessing the power of technology and doing things digitally, we have created digital services based around users’ needs, accessible on smartphones, tablets or computers, reducing the need for expensive form filling and manual processing, not to mention the environmental benefits.

“The responsibilities of government are complex and wide ranging, yet through digital transformation, we have saved a staggering £3.56 billion across government in the period April 2012 to March 2015.

“But what of the everyday citizen, business owner or visitor to the UK? There has been a very real positive impact on people’s lives. From April 2015 to March 2016 over 33 million people taxed their vehicle online - and no longer need a paper tax disc. And we no longer print a paper counterpart to the driving licence, leaving just the card itself and a digital record, accessible online. January 2016 saw nearly half a million more self assessment tax returns filed online with paper returns down 21% on previous years.

Despite this success we must strive for more. We talk about transformation because the potential of digital is to rethink how government works and operates. Our measure of success must not be limited to substituting paper with online versions of the same form. We must, and we will, rethink how government works in the age of the internet, evolving and developing our services to meet society’s needs”.

Due to popular demand, GovNewsDirect have also announced this week that nominations for the Public Sector Paperless Awards 2018 will be open from the 1st September 2018.