Directgov Review and the Future for Government on the Web<br />Felicity Shaw<br />Head of Inclusion <br />Digital Delivery Team <br />
Background<br />Martha Lane Fox appointed UK Digital Champion by PM in June<br />Part of her remit:<br />Advising Government on how efficiencies can best be realised through the online delivery of public services including “driving the transformation and redirection of Directgov”<br />Strategic review of Directgov began over the summer and reported to Minister for the Cabinet Office this autumn<br />Review not in isolation, but part of wider consideration of how government communicates with citizens via the web<br />
Context<br />More than 40 million adults (80%) in the UK now use the internet.<br />30 million people using it every day. <br />99% of 16-24 year olds and 96% of 25-34 year olds now online. <br />For the majority of the population, digital channels are the default for communications, finding and sharing information, paying bills and buying and selling goods.<br />Office of National Statistics bulletin on Internet Access (2010)<br />
Directgov’s role <br />1. Provides access to online transactional services e.g. Student loans, car tax and Jobseeker’s allowance<br />2. Publishes government information – information for citizens all in one place<br />Needs to empower citizens and make information accessible<br />Services should allow Government to turn other channels off<br />
Key MLF approach<br />Directgov needs to put needs of the user first<br />Open up digital transactions so they are delivered where and how citizens want to access them – e.g. Via private sector and charities<br />Syndicating content so information is available where people are on the web<br />Aim for a transformation of how Government delivers via the web<br />
1. Make Directgov the front end for all departments’ transactional online services to citizens and businesses, with the teeth to mandate cross Gov solutions, set standards and force depts to improve citizen’s experience<br />Improving quality and take up of online transactions is key – for convenience and efficiency<br />Directgov should focus on being “citizens champion with teeth”<br />Drive service quality across Departments and e sure good service design (convenience, accessibility etc)<br />Focus on the needs of the end user rather than how government wants to deliver services<br />
2. Make Directgov a wholesaler as well as the retail shop front for government services and content by mandating the development and opening up of APIs to third parties<br />Services should be available where people want them<br />Become a “wholesaler” by encouraging private and third sector organisations to create services by opening up APIs<br />Create cross-government standards on APIs and use of open technologies to support this<br />Build trust through a quality assurance kite mark<br />Build role of Directgov as a centre of expertise <br />
3. The model of online publishing should change radically with a new central team in control of the overall user experience across all digital channels<br />Central commissioning team to co-ordinate user experience <br />Information published on a single Government website<br />Build on current web rationalisation plans<br />Ultimately moving to a single domain for Government<br />Use a shared, agile, cost-effective suite of web technologies – further discussion needed between Directgov and BusinessLink<br />Ensure there is no wrong door for citizens – including syndicating content on the web<br />
4. A new CEO for Digital in the CO with absolute authority over the user experience across all government online services and the power to direct all government online spending<br />Co-ordinate leadership on digital via a new CEO for Digital<br />Set and enforce standards, including technical, content, design and accessibility<br />Oversight needed on the whole government approach to digital <br />Links to wider channel shift and assisted digital agendas<br />
Response to MLF recommendations<br />Welcomed by Francis Maude (MCO) late Nov<br />Recruiting CEO for Digital with aim to appoint in new year<br />Simplifying governance of Directgov and ensuring it has authority to act as “consumer champion with teeth”<br />Produce a clear timetable for migrating government’s transactional services to Directgov<br />Work with departments on a timetable to open up APIs<br />Discussion between Directgov and Businesslink on closer working etc. <br />Joint decisions to be made across Government on moving to a single domain etc<br />
Local Government<br />Services are devolved but big opportunities in the future<br />Model of sharing web resources and services<br />Move towards digital as default channel for services and information<br />Increasing local, citizen focussed model – fixmystreet.com etc<br />
What do you see as the challenges/opportunities?<br />What could MLF do to help?<br />Felicity Shaw<br />E-Mail: Felicity.Shaw@cabinet-office.x.gsi.gov.uk<br />
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