Maude says GOV.UK shows saving from government digital services
Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude says GOV.UK, the website launched to replace Directgov and Business Link, heralds a new way of delivering public services.
According to the Minister, GOV.UK is a platform for future digital innovation with the ability, ‘in stark contrast to the way IT has been delivered in government in the past’ to rapidly accommodate new standards for development and security. The platform can also respond to emerging technologies and user requirements quickly and effectively.
Writing about today’s release of GOV.UK in a post published in the Government Digital Service (GDS) blog, the Minister says that GOV.UK proves that digital public services can be delivered at a fraction of the price of previous government IT projects. He says it will cost taxpayers up to £70m less per year than the services it replaces, with ‘substantial further savings’ achieved as more departments and agencies move on to the platform. Part of the savings are attributed to the fact that GOV.UK has been built using open source technology, which saves on software licensing costs.
The release of GOV.UK is a key element in the government’s Digital by Default agenda that aims to make public services better and cheaper for taxpayers and more effective and efficient for government. This approach, says the Minister, is part of a wider programme to help make central government smaller, faster, more unified, more accountable for delivery, more commercially capable and more digital.
Also writing in the GDS blog, GDS director Mike Bracken says that early results show GOV.UK to be simpler for users, with the average task success at 61% compared with 46% on Business Link.
Major departments will be migrated onto the platform in the new few following months, with government agencies following over the next 18 months.
Further platform services are in the pipeline, including metrics and identity with additional APIs in development. A Government Digital Strategy set for publication in the next few month will set out how the ‘urgent need to redesign mainstream transactions’ will be handled.