We are open for business.
We have a new home. It’s taken a few months of incredibly hard work to bring six parts of Government activity into one place, but we’re here now. We’ve had huge support, from Cabinet Office colleagues, our Minister and his colleagues in Number 10, and crucially the Treasury. We’ve had great support too from many in the wider digital community to try something very different with Government and technology. We’ve done it very quickly, starting in early August, we’ve moved people, structures and buildings simultaneously, never an easy ask. And the benefits are already visible:
Collaboration across projects becomes easier. For example, the identity team can now work with platform developers to devise future IDA services. We have already hosted colleagues from DWP, HMRC, MoJ/OPG and Constitutional Affairs, and continue to help them devise future digital services.
The Government in its wider sense now has a digital home, and it’s from here we can help drive a new generation of digital public services. Cross-Government working, for so long an abstract concept, is starting to happen around this digital centre. And we will continue to throw our doors open to suppliers and partners.
Talent is arriving. The mission at GDS is attractive to digital experts and public policy specialists alike and we are starting to see new skills take root within Government. ‘Creating an environment for technology leaders to flourish’ is one of our key principles, and we are starting to live up to it. The other 6 are written on the walls and windows of the building.
As we reduce friction, we create savings. While our objective is the delivery of outstanding digital services which are then iterated quickly based on user need and demand, the delivery frees up huge savings as a result.
It's been an exciting few months since I started as the Executive Director for GDS, and I am pleased to formally open it to the world with Minister for Cabinet Office Francis Maude, Martha Lane Fox - the UK’s Digital Champion and Ian Watmore - Permanent Secretary of the Cabinet Office
The Minister, Francis Maude, has said:
“We are determined to offer world class digital products that meet people’s needs and offer better value for taxpayers’ money – and that is why we have set up the Government Digital Service.
"The GDS will be the centre for digital government in the UK. It will transform the way people access government information by using digital technology to deliver services that put the user first and give them the smartest and most cost-effective service possible.
"I'd like to thank Martha Lane Fox for helping us to kick off our journey to make our services 'digital by default' and for her continuing support"
We've had a month to try the building on for size and find new ways of working. We have already made substantial breakthroughs:
E-petitions: A service created by GDS in 6 weeks (including procurement time) has now had nearly 3 million people signing e-petitions at a cost of less than 1p per use. So far six petitions either have been or will be debated in Parliament.
Directgov: In October 31 million people visited a site that now hosts 95% of all citizen facing content.
Tech City App: Instead of producing a policy paper for the PM’s visit to Tech City GDS produced an app (in collaboration with Number 10 and Tech City company mobileroadie).
Re-set Identity Assurance: £10 million of funding has allowed us to start the GDS programme to work collectively across Government to deliver identity assurance solutions for digital transactions.
Next year we look forward to a faster pace for delivery. While our roadmap is not finalised, and indeed will never be given the agility to which we aspire, we can look forward to some major releases.
Comment by The pivot: from publishing to transactions | Government Digital Service posted on
[…] 2011 the first challenge we faced was the creation of a central digital estate in the form of the Government Digital Service. The next challenge was to fix publishing. Launched […]
Comment by The End of the Beginning | Government Digital Service posted on
[...] 2011 it was simply not possible to start with transactional reform. Firstly we had to create a digital estate at the heart of Government, then show we could run a cross Government platform. GOV.UK, and the way it was created (agile, [...]
Comment by Social media in Whitehall: it's inevitable mistakes will be made - Government Tenders, Government News and Information - Government Online posted on
[...] it was officially launched in December 2011, the GDS’ employees were scattered across different buildings. They have since been brought [...]
Comment by This week at GDS | Government Digital Service posted on
[...] a year since the event that officially launched GDS. The last twelve months have seen major milestones like the release of GOV.UK, the Digital Strategy [...]
Comment by This is why we are here - Mike Bracken. posted on
[...] improve its services on the web and Francis Maude’s affirmative reply. This led to the formation of our organisation – the Government Digital Service (GDS) and to the GOV.UK alpha just a few [...]
Comment by Is Agile Going To Be Beta? | access-egov.info posted on
[...] blog post announcing the formal launch of the Government Digital Service closed with this paragraph: Next year we look forward to a [...]
Comment by Introducing the beta of GOV.UK | Government Digital Service posted on
[...] its online services, and Francis Maude’s affirmative reply on behalf of the Government. The Government Digital Service (GDS) was formed as a result, and soon launched an experimental prototype of GOV.UK (alpha.gov.uk - [...]
Comment by This is why we are here | Government Digital Service posted on
[...] government improve its services on the web and Francis Maude’s affirmative reply. This led to the formation of our organisation – the Government Digital Service (GDS) and to the GOV.UK alpha just a few [...]
Comment by Ben Terrett on designing GOV.UK | Government Digital Service posted on
[...] the launch of GDS just before Christmas Francis Maude (our Minister) and Martha Lane Fox both spoke in the [...]
Comment by Brooke posted on
So what's the future of e-petitions? The press are saying they've been "too successful" ?
Comment by Fraser posted on
Missed the party 🙁 Never mind, it's the afterparty that's important :). Go get em...
Comment by James Whitehead posted on
Great to see the UK pushing Digital to every part of the UK agenda.
Comment by Launch of UK Government Digital Service | Service Delivery in Government posted on
[...] Maude the Minister for the Cabinet Office has launched the Government Digital Service. The Government Digital Service (GDS) has been set up, “to deliver world class digital [...]
Comment by Presentations from #gdslaunch | Government Digital Service posted on
[...] the Minister for the Cabinet Office’s keynote at yesterdays launch event members of the GDS team gave five bite-size presentations introducing the work of GDS. So here [...]
Comment by David Pomphret posted on
Directgov : "... now hosts 95% of all citizen facing content."
Have you ever tried to get something "Agile" hosted on there? We did and failed badly!
Happy to chat about it. 🙁
Comment by Mark Diner posted on
Congratulations from Canada!
Comment by Government launch new Digital Service | Digital Politico posted on
[...] Francis Maude, along with Martha Lane Fox and Ian Watmore (Permanent Secretary of the Cabinet Office) have formally opened the new Government Digital Service today. Executive Director Mike Bracken proudly blogged: [...]
Comment by David Banes posted on
Cool, having spent 15 years in Australia I can say that digital government and real time connectivity between departments and citizens is awesome when it works.
Comment by Citation Positioning « OUseful.Info, the blog… posted on
[...] followed by 3 or more followers from a sampling of the followers recent users of the #gdslaunch (Government Digital Service launch) [...]
Comment by alexcoley posted on
Oops typo. No letter 'l' intended on the end of that quote. Also not a freudian slip for Businesslink. Actually I was asking for a hyperlink, a URL.
Let's see the shop front of the new business just opened.
Comment by alexcoley posted on
"We are open for businessl" Link?
Comment by Si posted on
Congratulations and the very best of luck to GDS in their new home!