The Government Digital Service has published its quarterly report for December 2014, giving an update on progress in the government’s digital plans and an outlook on expectations for the first quarter of 2015.
Mike Bracken, head of the GDS, said he was pleased with the progress being made saying, “we’ve transformed some of government’s most-used services, improving the lives of people all over the country…
“Obviously no digital service is ever truly ‘done’, but I’m pleased that… we’re improving digital services with the help of real users.”
Bracken said that he anticipates that the government is “only days away from completing the transition of content from more than 300 agencies and arm’s length bodies onto GOV.UK”.
In addition, he praised the achievements of the Verify gov.uk project, describing the public release as a “tremendous achievement”.
Looking forward, the report says that between January 2015 and March the GDS plans to make a further four services available for public release: redundancy payments, personalised registrations, vehicle management services and support for beneficiaries of the Common Agricultural Policy.
Furthermore, by March 2015, the GDS intends to have:
- shaped a strategy for the support and maintenance of digital services after going live,
- award a contract for Crown Hosting,
- organise a “Spring 2015” event to share our learning and progress to date on transforming significant government services,
- publish our digital and technology skills and learning matrix,
- complete the Cabinet Office technology transformation programme
In terms of digital inclusion, the GDS is aiming to ensure that digital services are preferable to alternatives for those who already use digital services; for those currently offline, the GDS said it is working with other organisations to improve digital skills and provide support to those who cannot access digital services alone.
The report said “No digital service will go live without appropriate support for people who aren’t online, so they can use the digital services through non-digital ways, such as face to face, by phone and through intermediaries.
“In some cases, people may be offered help to use the digital channel independently.”