Tuesday, 26 April 2016

RIP IDA – are GDS talking to themselves?

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.

Every week, the Government Digital Service (GDS) publish statistics about GOV.UK Verify (RIP) on their performance platform. A degree of academic rigour is called for. Without that, GDS are just talking to themselves.

As we speak, some of these statistics are complete to the week 11-17 April 2016 while others include the week 18-24 April 2016. We ignore the latter in the paragraphs below.

Monday, 25 April 2016

Willing enthusiasm isn't enough

11:19 a.m., 8 October 2014, 18 months ago, someone saves a copy of the Transactions Explorer page of the Government Digital Service's performance platform:


Then someone updates HMRC digital team plights troth to wrong Liege and forgets about it ...

... until recently.

You will notice that GDS were trying to measure how digital central government is, department by department. The data they used is repeated below. You won't be surprised which department wins ...

Openness should include farmers

One of the standing jokes about the Government Digital Service's identity assurance scheme, GOV.UK Verify (RIP), is the list of public services using it:


How can DEFRA's Rural Payments service be connected by GOV.UK Verify (RIP)? DEFRA don't have a rural payments service, as we always point out, at least not a computerised one – the computerised system GDS tried to build collapsed and farmers are all applying for their money using pencil and paper now, as a result of GDS's failure. There's nothing for GOV.UK Verify (RIP) to connect farmers to.

The gateway to openness

"The annual end submission date for tax self assessment in January is one of the critical events in the year for the Government Gateway, HMRC and government IT systems as a whole". So said David Hargreaves on 25 February 2016 in Managing the self assessment tsunami:
This year was the largest yet. The Government Gateway processed over 2.9 million self assessment submissions in January. This was just part of almost 7.5 million transactions it handled over the whole month, and the 10 million online self assessments processed in 2015.

The volumes topped 400,000 on Friday 29 January. That’s the equivalent of 8.5 submissions per second.
The Government Gateway is clearly quite a substantial cross-government platform. And these are notable transaction volumes.

And yet, if you try to find anything out about the Government Gateway on the Government Digital Service's performance platform, look what you get:

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Insolvent solutions

11:19 a.m., 8 October 2014, 18 months ago, someone saves a copy of the Transactions Explorer page of the Government Digital Service's performance platform:


Then someone updates HMRC digital team plights troth to wrong Liege and forgets about it.

Monday, 18 April 2016

RIP IDA – it tolls for thee

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.

"Hi, Richard James here to give you an update on the Personal Tax Account".

Couldn't be more jovial, could it. That's the opening line in a charming little blog post published by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) the other day, One million customers using the Personal Tax Account.

They're very proud of their new personal tax account. "34 different actions ... That’s how many things you can already do in the Personal Tax Account that would have previously meant a letter or phone to call to us".

One million customers? Everything HMRC does is in the millions. Apart from the things they do by the billion. One million HMRC customers for anything isn't news. It's reassuringly dull. Like the worthy little video they've released, reminiscent of the old Central Office of Information blockbusters on food hygiene or road safety.


But part way through this little gem of a post, what's this we read? "Have you tried it yet? ... From the Personal Tax Account sign in page you can now log in by setting up a Government Gateway account".

Friday, 15 April 2016

That shouldn't be there, should it?

Remember dear old GOV.UK? The award-winning public face of the UK administration on-line? Here's what it looks like today:



Spot anything?
They've stopped claiming falsely that GOV.UK replaces Directgov and Business Link?
Yes. Anything else?
They're still claiming falsely that you can use GOV.UK to register to vote?
Yes. Anything else?
They're suggesting falsely that Universal Jobmatch is a GOV.UK service when in fact it's still on Directgov?
Yes. Anything else?
No.
What about that quite large reference to the EU referendum which occupies a not inconsiderable amount of the prime acreage on the screen? And the link to Find out why the Government believes we should remain.
Oh yes. Bit odd. That shouldn't be there, should it?

Saturday, 9 April 2016

"Where we’re at, and where we’re going"

You never know where you are with the Government Digital Service (GDS). Except you do.

-----  o  O  o  -----

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Confidence limits

4 April 2014 (600,000):
Identity assurance, procurement 2

Janet Hughes and David Rennie, 4 April 2014 — Industry and market engagement

...

Identity providers are paid each time a user registers with them. The initial contracts cover the first 600,000 registrations. We’re expecting to use all of these this year ...

3 April 2016 (478,000):

Safe spaces

An open letter to our new Advisory Board

Stephen Foreshew-Cain, 31 March 2016 — GDS team

Dear Advisory Board members,

...

We've asked you to help us because you believe in the same things that we believe ...