The most reliable source of good ideas for new digital services is usually the operational people nearest the public frontline. They will know the kinks and gaps in existing processes, and have already worked out how to route around the dysfunction out of necessity. As a general rule for digital teams working in government, bear in mind that the quality of ideas diminishes in direct proportion with the distance a person making suggestions has from the users of public services. Some senior policy officials, in particular, have notoriously shaky instincts for what people actually need or do in reality. The exception to this rule is those ministers who are more exposed to the frustrations of dealing with the state via their contact with the public.
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