It was announced recently by Sir Jeremy Heywood, Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service, United Kingdom, that GOV.UK will expand its services over the next 5 years ‘to give departments access to shared digital technology and processes’, simplifying the transition to more digitised services.
Sir Jeremy Heywood stressed the digital transformation of Government as one of his key priorities. Having said that, he was proud to discuss the huge investment being put towards digital for the duration of the Parliament.
“In terms of cold, hard numbers, we are going to see £1.8 billion invested in digital transformation, and a further £450 million specifically for Government Digital Services – a vote of confidence in the hard work that’s gone into making the UK the global leader in digital government,” Sir Jeremy Heywood announced.
Government Digital Services (GDS) supports the digital transformation within departments through their Common Technology Services (CTS) programme and Cabinet Office Technology Transformation programme.
GOV.UK is pushing the limits by working towards building Government as a Platform (GaaP). GaaP will allow departments access to shared digital technology and processes. This will let them focus on the functionality of their service and not about acquiring the technology to make it operate.
From this drive for GaaP, two projects from GDS are testing their optimized digital services to citizens.
The GOV.UK Pay project is working to make payments more convenient and efficient for citizens.
The project is currently in the beta phase, after testing a prototype which assisted in user research and technical testing during its alpha phase.
In beta, the project will start to be receiving real payments for the following partners: the Companies House, the Environment Agency, the Home Office, and the Ministry of Justice.
In the future, the project aims to develop a Direct Debit payment mechanism. The development work for this method will begin early next year.
The GOV.UK Verify is a newly introduced service which helps citizens to prove who they are online with ease. This will allow them to view services such as tax filing and drivers licence details.
Verifying the citizens identity takes just about 10 minutes. Consequently, it will take citizens less than 1 minute to verify their identity each time they use a GOV.UK service.
What this system does is take an extra step to ensure that citizens data and privacy is being protected and secured. GOV.UK Verify will ensure that the user accessing services are who they say they are, as it has been built to meet the 9 identity assurance principles established by the UK Government.
Through the Open Identity Exchange, GOV.UK Verify will be able to engage with industry, public, and private sectors.
GOV.UK is in public beta eta mode right now, making it optional for users to opt in.