Saturday, 27 August 2016

GDS & the banshees 3


The system is not set up to do stuff.
It’s set up, frankly,
to have an intellectual pissing match
around how its things should be.


On 1 August 2016 one man replaced another man as head of the Government Digital Service (GDS). Kevin Cunnington came. Stephen Foreshew-Cain left. People come and people go. It's not unusual but on this occasion there was an exorbitant keening and wailing and moaning from an international class of banshees.

The banshees failed to make it clear why they were upset. What would it matter if GDS had its terms of reference changed? Transformation begins at home. Come to that, what would it matter if GDS disappeared? The banshees couldn't tell us.

Monday, 22 August 2016

GDS & the banshees 2


The system is not set up to do stuff.
It’s set up, frankly,
to have an intellectual pissing match
around how its things should be.


On 1 August 2016 one man replaced another man as head of the Government Digital Service (GDS). Kevin Cunnington came. Stephen Foreshew-Cain left. People come and people go. It's not unusual but on this occasion there was an exorbitant keening and wailing and moaning from an international class of banshees.

Friday, 19 August 2016

GDS & the banshees 1


The system is not set up to do stuff.
It’s set up, frankly,
to have an intellectual pissing match
around how its things should be.


Proper journalists have sources and on Sunday 31 August 2016 Bryan Glick, editor of Computer Weekly magazine, published DWP director Kevin Cunnington set to take over as new head of Government Digital Service. Next day he turned out to be right, John Manzoni: Changes at the Government Digital Service.

The Government Digital Service (GDS) has a budget – £450 million to tide them over to 31 March 2020 – but no published strategy. Mr Glick's sources seem to have been able to give him the date of the overdue announcement of GDS's strategy – 15 September 2016 – and some insight into official thinking: "Our sources say the Cabinet Office hopes to use the launch of the new strategy to 'nullify any coverage around GDS being in confusion or disarray' ...".

Sunday, 7 August 2016

What else don't they know?

Government as a Platform (GaaP) is rumoured to be at the heart of the Government Digital Service's strategy.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

RIP IDA – Connect.Gov goes down the tubes

No need to say it, it goes without saying, it should be obvious to all but,
just in case it isn't obvious to all,
IDA is dead.

IDA, now known as "GOV.UK Verify (RIP)",
is the Cabinet Office Identity Assurance programme.
"GOV.UK Verify [RIP] is a new type of service, being delivered in a new way for the first time anywhere in the world". So said the Government Digital Service (GDS) on 30 June 2015. And so said their political boss, Matt Hancock, three months later on 26 October 2015: "It is a world first, and has been offering users a level of ID security that wasn’t previously possible online".

False. At the time. The UK was not alone.

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Take care of the sense and the sounds would take care of themselves

"digital" v. "transformation"
Some of the Government Digital Service's time the other day was filled up with fundamental research into the correct name for the organisation, please see tweets below.

RIP IDA – openness closes as Verizon bolts again and penetration becomes a mystery

No need to say it, it goes without saying, it should be obvious to all but,
just in case it isn't obvious to all,
IDA is dead.

IDA, now known as "GOV.UK Verify (RIP)",
is the Cabinet Office Identity Assurance programme.
The Government Digital Service (GDS) continue to promote GOV.UK Verify (RIP) to central government departments, local government and the private sector.

GOV.UK Verify (RIP) has its own dashboard on the GOV.UK performance platform. Yesterday, GDS published a blog post, Improving our reporting, announcing certain changes to the dashboard.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Old local authority briefing reviewed on the Antiques Roadshow*

"New Socitm, ADASS and LGA briefing sets out challenges in implementing ID assurance methods that can limit information loss and identify fraud", says the Government Computing website in an article published yesterday, 5 July 2016, Social care providers called on to set out online identity strategies.

Socitm is the pre-eminent society for IT practitioners in the UK public sector and they issued a press release on 4 July 2016, Social care leaders urged to consider options for managing identity and authentication online for service users and providers.

Monday, 4 July 2016

The copulation of propositions (iterating in public)

David Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature (1739):
In every system of morality, which I have hitherto met with, I have always remarked, that the author proceeds for some time in the ordinary ways of reasoning, and establishes the being of a God, or makes observations concerning human affairs; when all of a sudden I am surprised to find, that instead of the usual copulations of propositions, is, and is not, I meet with no proposition that is not connected with an ought, or an ought not. This change is imperceptible; but is however, of the last consequence. For as this ought, or ought not, expresses some new relation or affirmation, 'tis necessary that it should be observed and explained; and at the same time that a reason should be given, for what seems altogether inconceivable, how this new relation can be a deduction from others, which are entirely different from it ...

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Communicating via the walls

Good culture evolves from the bottom up, Stephen Foreshew-Cain told us the other day. So does bad culture. And culture can be influenced from the top, for good or ill.

Mr Foreshew-Cain is the executive director of the Government Digital Service (GDS), where "we don’t always get it right, but one thing we’ve found that does work is communicating via the walls", he says. "Communicating via the walls" means pinning posters up, reminding the staff to be bold, for example.