Yet another committee gives a lashing for digital strategy delay

It's so important they held a 'three-week consultation'... over the Christmas hols

At the current rate Julian Assange is more likely to see the light of day than the government's digital strategy – with a second Parliamentary committee having criticised its long-overdue publication.

The cross-government strategy is now more than one year late, with no clear indication as to when it is likely to be published.

Among other things it is expected to include a plan for the Government Digital Service, which was awarded £450m in November 2015 but still has no road map for how that cash should be spent.

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee (BEIS) has today warned that Britain will be "left behind" and have its advantage in the digital economy "eroded" in the "absence of clarity and strategic focus".

BEIS Committee chairman Iain Wright MP said the strategy was already six months late when it was supposed to be published last summer.

"I hope this means that it will coincide and be consistent with the wider Government Industrial Strategy, but I'm not going to hold my breath on that one," he said.

He added that the delay would leave the "digital economy in limbo for the next two years".

Last week the Science and Technology Committee blasted the UK government for dragging its feet in releasing a digital strategy.

The comments by BEIS were in light of the government's response to the committee's report on the Digital Economy.

But in it the government failed to account for the strategy's delay, despite being called upon to explain why by the committee. The committee also noted that the government initiated a three-week consultation over the Christmas break on what the government should include in the strategy.

However, the government said its Brexit negotiations with Europe included a number of areas around the digital economy.

These include: reforming the European Copyright Law package; a review of the Electronic Communications Framework Review; Services Package, as part of the Single Market Strategy' approaches to geoblocking; and the Digital Single Market. ®

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