This week at GDS

This week's round-up comes from Kathy Settle, Deputy Director at GDS. The full transcript is below.

What has GDS been up to this week?

Two big things to flag this week: the first one is GOV.UK. The next department moved onto GOV.UK on Thursday morning - the Cabinet Office. So, our own department moved on which was great. Big thanks to Neil Williams and his team, as ever, for dealing with all of that. But also to lots of other people in Cabinet Office, Comms and Policy Teams who have provided all the content. They have done a really great effort.

The other thing that we did on Wednesday afternoon was we had the next meeting of our Digital Leaders' Network. At that meeting, we discussed three new things: the first one was the digital procurement framework. This is a new framework that we are putting in place in the summer. It will enable departments to be able to access the kind of digital suppliers that they need going forward.

The second one was GOV.UK. We talked about the exemptions bids - this is where Government organisations can make a bid if they feel they should not move onto GOV.UK for some particular reason, but they should keep their own site. We have looked at this a number of times now, over the last few months. Wednesday was the final day where we actually made the decision about who is on and who is off. We have now got a big list of organisations that need to move by April 2014.

The final thing we talked about was Apps. Tom Loosemore came and gave us a presentation about Apps; what they are for, what they do. Whether you should use them or not, how beneficial they are. It gave digital leaders a list of questions they could take into their own departments. If someone says to them, “I would like an App”, they have their list of questions to ask, when they can decide whether it is a good idea or not.

What about visitors to GDS this week?

We have had three Governments in this week. Sweden, Bulgaria and Ireland have all come in and talked to us. Particularly big thanks to the Swedish Government. They took time to present at our Show and Tell. Every week, we have a session in GDS where everybody comes and presents what they have done that week. The Swedish government team very kindly came and gave us a presentation and took questions from GDS people about what they had been doing. A big thanks to them.

What's coming up next week at GDS?

More moves onto GOV.UK. Two departments next week: firstly HMRC, and secondly DCMS, who are both moving their corporate content onto GOV.UK. That will be almost well over half, I think, of our departments who are then on GOV.UK, which is a really great effort.


  1. Tim Blackwell

    " We have now got a big list of organizations that need to move by April 2014."

    Could we have a look at the list, please?



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  2. Marcus Ferbrache (@marcusferbrache)

    Is Tom Loosemore's presentation about Apps up on the net somewhere? If not yet, could it be? Sounds useful!

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  3. Dave Williamson

    Hi Kathy
    Any chance of sharing your list of questions when someone asks for an app?

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  4. Mark R

    Any chance you could share the “I would like an App” questions you gave digital leaders? Sounds like they might be useful ...:o)

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  5. neaput

    Any chance you cuold share the "I would like an App” questions and presentation that given to digital leaders? Sounds like they might be useful for us in local gov too...

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    • paulclarke

      Good to see all the enthusiasm and appetite for the App-related material we mentioned. This is being updated to incorporate some additional material that the group of digital leaders across Departments have requested, and then we will publish it.

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  6. karen

    "we can make sure that it continues to support existing and new users’ needs."

    By blocking their email address, and denying them access, then running away and refusing to sort it out ... Because if you're not 'on message' you're not welcome.

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    • paulclarke

      Thank you for your comment - we welcome all feedback, though some things we have to refer on to the specific parts of government that provide those services directly. As we already have another channel of discussion open with you about the communication difficulties you've had, we will avoid duplicating it here. I hope you have used the correct email address I sent you, I am sorry that you didn't have any response using a "non-reply" address that some standard emails are sent from, and I can confirm again that you are not blocked from using our feedback form.

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  7. Cabinet Office’s procurement reforms start to pay off | Campaign4Change

    [...] Settle, Deputy Director at GDS, refers in her post to “exemptions bids”, in which government organisations make a bid to keep their own websites [...]

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