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This week at GDS

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This week GOV.UK is up for the Designs of the Year awards at the Design Museum and the exhibition opened on Wednesday, the Department for Culture Media and Sport released a new intranet using GDS services and design rules, and we had Kip Meek a leading digital strategist inspiring our Digital Leaders. Next week we welcome the permanent secretaries to Aviation House and we also release the ‘Worldwide’ and the ‘Travel Advice’ section on GOV.UK.

What have you been up to this week?

GOV.UK is up for the Design of the Year awards at the Design Museum in the digital section and the exhibition opened this week. Our team went over to the Design Museum on Tuesday to see the GOV.UK installations in the exhibition. Great work by Tom Stuart who made an application, which shows a map of the UK and highlights areas of GOV.UK people are looking at by location. So that is a really fun start to the week.

A great thing that happened this week is that the Department of Culture, Media and Sport have used a lot of the services that we have created here, our design rules and our templates, and created their own intranet at a fraction of cost of the one it’s replaced. It is great to see that happen, especially when we have had very little to do with it ourselves.

In the middle of the week we hosted the Digital Leaders, and it is great to see departments coming together, really pressing us now to get more help on resources and to get more skills into departments. We are working very hard with them. Kip Meek presented to the Digital Leaders. Kip is one of the leading digital strategists in this country. He is currently at Everything Everywhere and was previously at Spectrum and Ofcom. It was great of him to come and present to the Digital Leaders, to really raise the bar and ambition statement and to give them some confidence for the challenges ahead.

The final thing that wouldn’t have escaped anyone was the Budget on Wednesday. The team have reacted really well. The are a lot of changes to GOV.UK that will come on 6 April, maternity pay, married couple allowances and so on and so forth. So overall it has been a very busy week with a lot of notable wins.

What is happening next week?

I am delighted to welcome the permanent secretaries to Aviation House next week. The permanent secretaries are the people who run large government departments and they meet every Wednesday.

They are coming over to Aviation House to see how government is doing things digitally. It is a great sign of what we have been doing here to see the interest from them. Sir Jeremy Heywood and Sir Bob Kerslake are bringing them over. It will be wonderful see them and to allow them to see what we are doing with their departments digitally. So that will be on Wednesday, we are really looking forward to that.

A couple of other migrations onto GOV.UK. The 'Travel Advice' section and the 'Worldwide' section will be released, with content coming over from FCO, DFID and UK Trade and Industry [Note: this should be "Investment"]. So again, yet more content onto the platform, a busy week for the team here.

I should mention a couple of new starters as well, Reema Mehta joined our Digital Policy team to work with Rebecca Kemp. Just at the end of last week Phil Buckley came over from the BBC, who has been running BBC Worldwide Services, and most notably CBeebies. Anyone with a small child will thank him for putting that online.

So another group of great people coming to GOV.UK and we look to recruit more people of that calibre in the near future.

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