Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Finance calls for a digital transformation of public services


Addressing public service finance leaders at CIPFA Scotland’s Annual Conference, Derek Mackay, the Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Finance, said the country must embark upon a digital transformation to encourage public service reform.

At the event, which brings together the top figures in public finance in Scotland, he said that by putting digital at the heart of services it will encourage innovation and make important efficiencies.

In his address, Derek Mackay, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, said:

“Digital is transforming how we live our lives and interact with people and public services. At a time of increasing demand and expectation, we need a step change in the way we deliver public services.

“Achieving digital transformation in our public services is not simply about providing public services online, it’s about putting digital at the heart of everything we do by providing services that simplify and standardise ways of working, encourage innovation, and result in a more efficient and responsive service that meets the needs of users.

“Although digital is a major enabler in achieving this, we need you to work with us to drive a shift in the way we deliver public services. Digital isn’t optional – we need to make sure that everyone is on board so Scotland realises its full potential in a digital world.”

Don Peebles, Head of CIPFA Scotland, commented:

“Public services in Scotland, with growing service demand and tightening budgets, are under increasing strain. And considering the full economic effect of Brexit has not yet been realised, it is likely that it will become increasingly difficult for services to balance the books.

“The digitalisation of the sector will be critical to put services on a more sustainable footing. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance that public service leaders explore how the digital agenda can improve outcomes for communities in Scotland.”


For further information and for photos of Derek Mackay’s address please contact Saskia Black on T: 07818570782 or E:

About CIPFA Scotland Annual Conference

Going Digital: Our Future Public Services explores our public finances through the lens of an increasingly digital future. The conference will of course examine a post-Brexit world, the consequences of that vote continue to reverberate. Meanwhile, Scotland continues with the implementation of new powers and with the availability of public funding which continues to be restricted.

This all means Scotland’s future is being shaped increasingly through new ideas and a new digital agenda – and also through linking citizens to public services in a different way. The conference will therefore ensure that the importance of people, whether staff or citizens in receipt of public services, remains in the forefront of our minds. The combination of Scotland’s people and exciting new technology can together allow us to progress towards excellent public services.