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This week at GDS

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Highlights this week - a great presentation to all our staff from Adam Bye of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, who've recently moved all their services to GOV.UK, and the completion of further departmental moves including Defra and the Ministry of Justice. The Student Loans Company, working with GDS, have just completed a major digital product release, including significant changes to their registration process. Several other large transactions at Defra, the Home Office, DWP and HMRC are also making progress.

Next week sees the full launch of our Service Standard manual - advising anyone who is working with us how we want to build public services online - and also the move of DWP's corporate information to GOV.UK. Our other big news is that GOV.UK has won the Design Museum's digital category for excellence in design this year.

(Full transcript below)

What have we been up to at GDS this week?

Today we’ve had our monthly all-staff meeting which has been really good. We had Adam Bye come along from FCO, who have just moved all their services onto GOV.UK. He gave a really great insight and a really good talk. So thanks to Adam for taking the time out and coming to talk to us. Also this week, significantly we’ve had a couple of big departments move across. So Defra have moved across, all their content is now on Inside Gov, David Pearson and Daniel De Cruz really helping us on that front, so thanks to those guys. Also MOJ, another pretty significant department moving all their corporate material across. Nick Camel and Mark Archibald there helping us out, and getting that moved over, so thanks to those guys.

Any news from the transformation team?

We have got some great news from Student Loans Company [SLC], who we have been working with since March last year, to help them build up their digital capability. They have done their second major release last weekend, which was the biggest release SLC have done in years. They have significantly changed the registration process which, anyone who has ever been a student will realise, was no fun. They have most significantly launched a new loan product for people doing further education over the age of 24, which they have launched a year ahead of schedule. They have launched it online instead of on paper. They are doing the real transformation piece out there, up in Glasgow, miles away from Whitehall. But really demonstrating how you can deliver different services quicker, and much cheaper.

In other departments, Defra are just concluding the inception for the CAP - the Common Agricultural Policy Delivery Programme - that finishes this week. So they will be pointed in the right direction to start delivering that product as an online service. We have got the Home Office starting inception on their Visit Visa process, we have got Carers’ Allowance starting inception on their process. We have also got HMRC’s unified tax approach going into alpha build this week, so a lot happening in that space.

What is coming up next week?

We have got the Service Standard coming out of beta, so this is our manual that tells anyone who is working with us how we want to build public services online. Also, we have got DWP’s corporate material moving onto GOV.UK which is a big chunk of work going on there as well.

What else has been going on this week?

We have also had other big news for GDS this week - we have had a real major win. The Design Museum has run its annual competition to look at the best designs around, and GOV.UK has won the digital category, so that is a great reward and reflection on the design excellence that has gone into that system. Well done to all the design team on that, and obviously thank you to the Design Museum for displaying impeccable taste in selecting GOV.UK as their winner.

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