Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Mooncalf Economics Ltd

Here's a dilly of a press release issued yesterday by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills jointly with Companies House:

Free Companies House data to boost UK economy

Companies House is to make all of its digital data available free of charge.

... As a result, it will be easier for businesses and members of the public to research and scrutinise the activities and ownership of companies and connected individuals ...

It will also open up opportunities for entrepreneurs to come up with innovative ways of using the information ...

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: "The government firmly believes that the best way to maximise the value to the UK economy of the information which Companies House holds, is for it to be available as open data. By making its data freely available and free of charge, Companies House is making the UK a more transparent, efficient and effective place to do business" ...

Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude said: "The UK is an international leader in open data because it sharpens accountability, exposes waste and informs choice over public services. It is also the raw material of our age, providing opportunities for entrepreneurs to create new data-led businesses and fuel growth as part of this government’s long-term economic plan" ...

Saturday, 5 July 2014

GDS's agile business plan

The Government Digital Service (GDS) released its business plan yesterday for the period April 2014 to March 2015.

"GOV.UK has been live since early 2012, and gets over 1.5 million visits per day, saving at least £50 million per year", they tell us.

But that's not all. In addition "We’ll deliver at least £700 million in efficiency savings and improve user experience by ...".

Further, looking at eight central government departments, "we estimate that by digitising all transactional services we could save £1.4 billion every year".

These are attractive numbers. They haven't been audited. But they're undoubtedly attractive.

You may think you've heard some of them before.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

RIP IDA – "we're building trust by being open"

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 is the Cabinet Office Identity Assurance programme. And it's dead.


"This week a small group of people became the first users to sign in to a government service using identity assurance". That's what Steve Wreyford of GDS said. The best part of five months ago. 11 February 2014, Identity assurance goes into intensive care beta.

The beta test was a private affair. Close family only. GDS (the Government Digital Service), with just HMRC (Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs) and DVLA (the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency) in attendance.

GDS turned up at a funeral for conference on the mooncalf economics of identity on 9 June 2014 where they tried to attract new investors, for all the world as though IDA was still alive. The book was dutifully talked up by GDS's brokers, OIX (the Open Identity Exchange) and KPMG. They even got Francis "JFDI" Maude to say:
Rt Hon Francis Maude MP is the Cabinet Office minister and, as such, the political boss of GDS. Despite all this openness, sunlight and transparency, GDS's trusting public had still not seen IDA for themselves. Ever.