The UK government is on course to deliver new online services that are better for citizens and businesses, save taxpayers money and help Britain compete in the global race, Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude announced at an event in London.
Sprint 14, a showcase for digital government, sees ministers and top officials give live demonstrations of 5 services which are simpler, clearer and fasterfor users: improved, more cost-effective services for PAYE tax, prison visits, electoral registration, driving records and visa applications.
The event marks the halfway point in the 400 working days the government set itself to put 25 significant public services online. These ‘exemplar’ services mark the first wave of digital transformation across government and will be live online in 2015. By digitising public services, the government is on track to make cumulative savings of £1.2 billion in this Parliament for citizens and businesses, rising to an estimated £1.7 billion a year after 2015.
For example, HMRC will showcase the first of a set of digital services that will eventually allow 41 million PAYE employees to view and manage their income tax records and information using a ‘digital tax account’. At the event, the first part of the service is being showed – which will be made available to customers who need to notify HMRC of a change to their company car. Currently the only way these customers can manage their tax records is by telephone, paper form or letter, generating 680,000 calls and letters to HMRC each year.
The service is being showcased at Sprint 14 alongside 4 other transactions including registering to vote, applying for a visa, viewing driving records and booking prison visits.
At the event, ministers and civil servants will also discuss other aspects of the digital revolution in government, including how the Civil Service up-skills to deliver these services and breaking down barriers that have prevented smaller, agile suppliers competing for and winning contracts.
According to Maude: “Our digital agenda is winning international recognition, creating a leaner, more efficient state. Digitising public services is all part of our long-term economic plan to save hard-working taxpayers’ money and to give people peace of mind through high-quality public services which they can use when and where it suits them.”
Mike Bracken, Executive Director of the Government Digital Service, added: “A year ago we gave ourselves 400 days to transform 25 of the most significant services in government. Our strategy is delivery and, 200 days in, we’re delivering. We have great services up and running, most in beta, some of it live. Departments are rapidly getting the skills and resources they need to deliver digital services that rival the best in the world. We’re making digital public services as easy and convenient as online banking or booking a ticket online. Digital by default is becoming reality right across government.”