Reported by Nick Jones, ESRC-Funded CSaP Policy Intern (February 2015 - May 2015)
Earlier this month CSaP Policy Fellow, Richard Sargeant, hosted a meeting at the Government Digital Service (GDS) which was set up to revolutionise the way citizens interact with government departments. Attended by Policy Fellows from both within and outside of government, discussions focused on how the GDS operates and its potential impact on other government departments.
Platforms not silos
The Policy Fellows heard how the GDS grew out of the desire to unify separate departmental websites into gov.uk, a single publishing platform aimed at improving the user experience for citizens engaging with government. Their work on gov.uk has been widely praised and even won the Design of the Year Award 2013. The GDS now aims to develop other platforms which work across government, rather than having systems and processes duplicated across departments. Platforms for identity verification, departmental metrics and alerts, and a digital marketplace are currently in development.
One aspect of this focus on developing platforms for government is that there will be increased scope for the private sector to rely on government data and services, which will increasingly be available and accessible in a consistent format across departments. The overall approach of the GDS was described as not being about technology in itself but about new approaches to organisation and improving connectivity.
(Banner image from Sam Cox)