A third component of effective political cover is which department the minister is responsible for. Putting responsibility for the first digital team under a minister with a specific policy remit –like justice, say –risks boxing it off. Government departments often believe they are special, and in various ways different from their sibling institutions. Attaching the digital transformation agenda to a specific ministry allows others to say: ‘Well, that’s all well and good, but it wouldn’t work here. Tax is completely different to justice. It’s tax! Be reasonable.’ The ideal political cover, therefore, must generally come from a minister responsible for a central ministry. In the UK this was the Cabinet Office; in other jurisdictions, it is often the finance ministry or prime minister’s office. In all cases, the institution needs to have the political expectation that it can operate across departments and policy areas, and practical levers to shape departmental behaviour.
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