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GDS tracks 'digital by default' progress of top 25 government services

Bryan Glick

The Government Digital Service (GDS) has launched a new website to track the progress of the 25 transactions targeted as the first to be put online under the new digital strategy.

The 25 services – ranging from visa applications to benefit claims to booking prison visits – were identified as “exemplars” that would be the first to be redeveloped under the “digital by default” plan to put more public services online.

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Since the strategy was launched at the end of 2012, 13 of the transactions have reached the discovery phase, six are in alpha, five in beta, and part of one – student finance – is already live.

The aim is to digitally transform the 25 services – among those most widely – in a 400-day time period that started earlier in 2013. The progress updates were provided today at a GDS event, called Sprint Alpha, to mark the conclusion of the first 100 days of the plan.

“We’ve really focused on growing out the transformation programme of 25 exemplar projects. A lot of that has been done quietly and in departments, out of the gaze of the public eye,” said Mike Bracken, executive director of GDS in a video published on the Cabinet Office website.

“The spending round took more time than anyone could have guessed, but we’re though that and looking forward to our transformation of public services.”

A statement from the Cabinet Office added: “This is the start of a transformation that will mean people can interact with government in the same way they do with their bank or with retailers.”

Over the next three months, the digital strategy will focus on moving more than 300 agencies’ and arms-length government bodies’ websites across to the central Gov.UK web platform; as well as publishing a new governance model for the delivery of technology across Whitehall to support the digital strategy, which is expected this month.

The Cabinet Office claims that the digital strategy will save over £1.2bn, by moving online a number of costly phone, postal and face-to-face transactions.


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