Highlights: The 1000th code release on GOV.UK – that’s about seven every working day. We also created a team within HMRC to extend the way we’ve been working out into departments. At our big monthly team meeting on Wednesday we heard from the Student Loans Company about the great work they’ve been doing to transform their transactions. We also saw the launch of the Digital Skills Alliance, led by Martha Lane Fox at the Go ON UK Trust. Next week we’ve got our regular digital leaders’ meeting on Wednesday and a major release of new guidance for CTOs which will form part of our digital by default service standard. We’ve also got more new starters in the team, and continue with our progress on the 25 exemplar service projects. As part of this I’m going up to the north-east to meet DWP and HMRC, and while up there I’m speaking at the Thinking Digital conference.
Today we released our third major update to the Transactions Explorer tool.
The complete list shows the breadth of transactional services provided by the government, from tax-based transactions with volumes in the millions per year, to applications to burn heather and grass, for which only one licence was issued last year.
We’re collecting data every quarter for a rolling 12-month period, and the latest release covers January to December 2012. As this is the second major release of data, we’ve started to present a clear view of changes in services over time.
The first meeting of the newly formed Open Standards Board took place on Thursday last week (9 May). Liam Maxwell, the Government’s Chief Technology Officer, chaired the meeting writes Linda Humphries.
I am enormously grateful to all of the members for volunteering their time and their expertise for the public good. Over time, their efforts will have a massive impact on people’s lives, making our services better and potentially saving millions of pounds in public money.
It was great to finally get down to work on putting the structures in place to help us make the right choice of which open standards to use.
The Open Standards Board agreed the process for how we should select open standards and appointed Nicholas Oughtibridge from the Health and Social Care Information Centre to chair a Data Standards Panel to advise the Board.
Phil Buckley, Product Manager of the Performance Platform, writes:
I’m very proud to announce the latest release of the Performance Platform. Building on the performance statistics we have for GOV.UK, this release powers the dashboards for all the different Licences, Notices, Registrations applications you can make. David Williams blogged about these in March.
The Licensing dashboards are the first of many; the Performance Platform is built to allow any government service to input data from any source, to see how that data changes over time, and in the future to compare their service’s performance with that of similar ones. The aim of the platform is to allow the owners to make data-driven decisions to improve their services.
Although the primary audience for this information is the person who owns the service, all this information is also publicly available – you can see it yourself at https://www.gov.uk/performance/licensing; and in the future you will be able to download the data too.
David Thorpe writes in response to yesterday’s report by Lord Young on support for smaller businesses.
Yesterday Lord Young released Growing Your Business, the second instalment of his report on small firms. The report looks at ways to help small firms grow. Record numbers of people are starting a business each year, joining a community of over 4.8 million firms in the UK today. Of these, 3.6 million are sole traders.
Lord Young’s report identifies just how much complexity, cost and inconsistency hinders Small to Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and entrepreneurs. GDS is making its contribution through GOV.UK with its focus on user needs and delivering simpler, clearer and faster information and services. Read more
Highlights: Progress this week on a new supplier framework, approaching launch around the end of this month, which will provide the whole of government with access to a broader range of digital and agile suppliers. GDS have also been working closely with the Student Loans Company in their selection of a technical transformation partner. The Digital Advisory Board also met this week. Next week, the monthly all-staff meeting will see updates from all the different projects and workstreams across GDS.
I’ve recently been embedded with the Inside Government team to work on understanding user behaviour through data analysis. One of my first tasks was to investigate the way that policies are being used and to identify any interesting or notable conclusions. Here’s an example of the format of a policy:
The content explorer provides a very useful snapshot of how the policy content is performing. But I wanted to dig further down into the data.
Highlights: A very big week, as we marked the 24th and last of the ministerial departments moving to Inside Gov. The numbers that describe the volume of activity over the last six months are incredible – and thanks go to so many of the team who’ve worked hard to make this happen. Other notable things this week have been GDS participation in a cross-government major project review – working with Defra to answer for performance in and around our work with the Rural Payments Agency, one of our first exemplar services. We also had the opportunity at the Public Sector Show this week to talk to counterparts looking at digital services in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
We’re learning a lot about users as we work with more teams outside GDS. Jamie Trollope from the Customer Insight and Diversity Team at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) writes about what they’ve discovered during some recent user testing.
Customer insight plays a vital part in ensuring any DVLA product, service or initiative is fit for purpose and easy to use for all our customers. Recently we tested new versions of driving licence renewal reminder forms and new online transactions with profoundly deaf customers. We wanted to share some of our findings.
Earlier this week the the final ministerial department joined GOV.UK. This isn’t the end of the GOV.UK story; in fact it’s barely the end of the beginning. But today is still a big moment, the result of commitment and collaboration from hundreds of civil servants all across government.
So to mark the occasion I thought I’d gather up and share some historical artifacts; some sketches, diagrams, lists, photos,and screengrabs that chart the evolution of GOV.UK from a crisp recommendation for a ‘single domain for government’ in Martha Lane Fox’s November 2010 report, through to today’s award-winning reality.