This week at GDS

This week, Kathy Settle, Director of Digital Policy and Departmental Engagement, looks back on GOV.UK’s one year birthday and talks about the public beta release of the Carers Allowance service.

Follow Kathy on twitter: @Kathy_Settle


What were we up to at GDS last week?

Well, the big thing, of course, was GOV.UK’s birthday; GOV.UK turned one. It was launched on 17 October last year, and we’ve had a bit of a party. We had some cakes and balloons, and we had visits from Martha Lane Fox, and Tom Loosemore came and said a few words, so it was lovely to see people there celebrating the success that we’ve had over the last year.

It’s not the only thing that we were up to last week though.

It isn’t; we’ve got some more progress with our exemplars. The one particularly to pick out from last week was Carers Allowance. That’s now gone into a public beta, so lots of work there with DWP (Department for Work and Pensions), particularly Leigh Mortimer, Kathryn Baxendale and many more over there; particularly citing Allon Lister, who’s been a real key contact with GDS. Lovely to see that up and running; I think we’ve had about a thousand applications already through that site, so it’s really great news.

The other thing we’ve done is some work on the Business, Finance and Support finder, so Guy Moorhouse and Amy Whitney, working particularly with our colleagues at Department of Business, have done a lot of work looking at the information architecture of that site, making sure it really works for the users.

The final thing I’ll mention is Digital Inclusion. This is our work to get people online. We had the first meeting of our new stakeholder group last week, so it was great to get people in from across the public, private and voluntary sector, who are going to work with us to try and take that agenda forward.

We’ve got some visitors later this week to GDS as well.

We have. Amongst other people, we’ve got the National Archives. We’re doing a lot of work with them as we take forward our GOV.UK transition. As websites move over to GOV.UK, clearly the old website has to be archived, and the National Archives are the key people who do that for us, so we’re working closely with them and mapping out how we take that work forward over the next six or seven months.

As ever, we’ve got some new starters at GDS this week.

We have; we’ve got a bunch of new starters. I’ll just mention one of them today, so Nicola Salvo, welcome to him; he’s joining the Web Ops team.

Excellent, until next time.

Until next time.

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