CDPS and chief digital officers outline priorities for Wales

In their first blog post, the chief digital officers for Wales and CDPS outline their priorities for Wales in the coming months

28 October 2022

The chief digital officers for Wales are made up of people working across Welsh Government, local government and health

Our chief executive officers (CEO) Myra Hunt and Harriet Green meet regularly with the chief digital officers in Wales, Sam Hall (chief digital officer in local government) and Glyn Jones (chief digital officer in Welsh Government). 

Mike Emery has just been appointed chief digital officer for health and social care and will be joining the group in the new year. 

The group talk about and agree on the priorities for the digital agenda in Wales and are committed to working in the open. 

This is what they discussed at their latest meeting: 

Harriet and Myra: 

This month Harriet and Myra discussed the cost of living crisis, improving public sector websites and the challenges of attracting and retaining digital talent in Wales

One of the big things on our agenda was looking at a proposal from CDPS to set up ‘CDPS labs – learn by making‘. This is because we know that across Wales, we could improve our websites by improving our content and our online forms, making it much easier for people to find what they’re looking for, to access the services they want and to input information about themselves. 

So, in our labs, we’re going to be inviting people from across the public sector to come and work with us to improve their website content and improve the forms that they’re using. We’re going to share the learnings and the tools that we develop and make them available to other people, to improve the experience of people accessing public sector websites. 


Photograph of Sam Hall of WLGA and Myra Hunt of CDPS. They are sat side-by-side, with Sam on the left. Myra smiles warmly while looking at Sam, who is speaking.

One of the other things we’re working on is how to attract, recruit and retain digital and data talent. This is the struggle that many people in the public sector across Wales. 

We’ve set up a steering group to make sure that we are focusing on the right things. We’re going to do some work to develop job descriptions for you to use for your own recruitment purposes and, we are starting to have those conversations around how to pitch these jobs at the right level so we’re attracting the right people.  

That means using the language that people will be able to recognise as a job that they think they could do, or they would want to do. It is a really important piece of work because most of the things that we want to do, we can’t do them without the right people and we know that there are people out there, but we’re not necessarily getting them into the right place, at the right time, to have the biggest impact. 


One of the important things that we need to do as chief digital officers, is to make sure that we’re working on things that are important to the people of Wales and to our ministers. 

Photograph of Glyn Jones of Welsh Government. Glyn is mid-speech, looking off to the left of the image.

One of the biggest priorities now for ministers and the rest of the public sector is the cost of living crisis. We’ve been talking about how we can work together as digital leaders to support the actions needed in that crisis. We’ve been doing some user research to understand what other public bodies are doing and where they think improvements can be made. 

One area we’re taking forward is to work with local authorities and other partners on content for their website, to make sure it’s accessible, to make sure that citizens can understand what support is available to them and how they can access it. We want to make it as easy and accessible to people as possible. 

We also want to look at data sharing. We’ve heard from local authorities that data sharing is a real barrier in identifying who they need to support. We want to talk to local authorities about those barriers and give them some advice and guidance on how they can be overcome this and put actionable plans in place to help them, to make sure that data sharing is not a barrier to giving people good services.  

We also want to look in the long term at how we can learn from this crisis and develop new ways of working and new digital services for the future.  

The group will continue to meet regularly and will be working in the open to let people know what they’re working on and what the priorities are.

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