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?
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 ...

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Lotus Notes redux

So what will GOV.UK Notify do?

Government receives millions of calls every year, from people anxious to find out where their thing is at. People have to spend time on hold, and running call centres costs a lot of money.

GOV.UK Notify is going to make it easy to keep people informed, by allowing service teams across government to send text messages, emails or letters to their users, before they get anxious enough to call.
Compare from 1989 with roots going back to 1973.

Friday, 1 April 2016

Faster horses
Those who optimistically believe they are breaking new ground by improving the online experience are often merely tracing footprints on a path already much trodden, reinventing and rediscovering anew the same things – from a common website to cross-government platforms. The result has been several generations of faster horses.

No-one's ever done payments before

Building GOV.UK Pay

Ian Maddison, 31 March 2016 — GOV.UK Pay

We previously introduced GOV.UK Pay, a new Government as a Platform product, to make payments more convenient and efficient. We’ve spent 6 months building our beta, and very soon we’ll be taking our first real payments with our first partner services. We wanted to give you an update on our public API, how we're making integration straightforward, security and our technical choices.

As a greenfield project ...

RIP IDA – decision time

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.

It's April 2016 and some time in the next few days or hours someone has to decide whether to declare that GDS's GOV.UK Verify (RIP) system is live.

Whose decision is it? And what does "live" mean?