Maude hails gov.uk beta as another milestone in government IT transformation

By Derek du Preez
01 Feb 2012 View Comments
House of Parliament

The government's gov.uk project has now entered the beta phase, and users can now provide feedback on the site's features.

Gov.uk is intended to act as a single source for public services in the UK, which the government hopes will allow people to access the information and services they need without having to wade through numerous government websites.

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The projected cost for the beta is £1.7m, but it is predicted that the final product will deliver savings of £50m a year.

Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude, has already declared the project a success, as it uses approaches that reflect the government's long-term IT goals of using agile processes, SMEs and open-source software.

"Digital public services should be easy to find and simple to use – they must also be cost-effective and SME-friendly. The beta release of a single domain takes us one step closer to this goal," said Maude.

"Our approach is changing. IT needs to be commissioned or rented, rather than procured in huge, expensive contracts of long duration. We are embracing new, cloud-based start-ups and enterprise companies and this will bring benefits for small and medium-sized enterprises here in the UK and so contribute to growth."

Gov.uk came about after digital adviser Martha Lane-Fox recommended in a report that government services online needed to be completely overhauled. She said a single government website and shared technology platform would deliver a better service at less cost.

"The beta release of gov.uk is a fantastic milestone in this government's ambition to become a digital world leader and dramatically change the focus of public service delivery onto the end user," said Lane-Fox.

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