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PA helps the FCO establish itself at the forefront of Whitehall Web initiatives

28 April 2008

The Internet is a critical channel for the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) to communicate, engage with and deliver services to the public. 24 million people each year visit more than 200 websites that provide information and services 24-hours-a-day in more than 40 languages. This global scale and complexity of the FCO’s web presence is far greater than that of other UK government departments and other foreign ministries.

Over the past two years, PA has helped the FCO in a high-profile project to deliver its innovative Internet platform with newly designed websites and lots of social computing features; establish new business support hubs in London, Washington, New Delhi and Singapore; and adopt a new global operating model. The innovative platform offers increased resilience and performance which together with the new global support hubs enable the FCO to deliver high-quality online services, make use of multiple channels such as mobile and RSS, and engage with the public via dynamic Web 2.0 features such as Google Maps, YouTube, forums and blogs.

PA’s support has covered the whole project lifecycle; including requirements capture and business case development; procurement and contract negotiations; organisational design of the new global editorial support organisation; stakeholder and change management; project and technical assurance; project and transition management; and the development of a retained function capability and related processes.

Following a launch event hosted by the Foreign Secretary, Lucian Hudson, the FCO’s Director of Communication, commented:

"Our new web platform is key for delivering UK policy internationally and services to British citizens abroad. It puts us at the forefront of Whitehall web initiatives, and ahead of other foreign ministries. This project would not have been achieved without the professional support and expertise brought by the PA Consulting team that worked well in partnership with the FCO and its technical supplier, ensuring that not only was the project on time and on budget but it also passed two successive green OGC reviews."

Steve McKenzie, a Member of PA’s Management Group, commented:
“We are delighted to have had the opportunity to support the FCO in this key initiative which offers a range of innovative features and is novel territory for Government. Being able to blend our expertise in new technologies, outsourcing and management of IT projects with the FCO’s service knowledge has been an essential ingredient in helping to deliver this successfully on time.”

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