Building a digital experience of government for everyone

As the Government Digital Service, our mission is to build a simple, joined-up and personalised experience of government for everyone. Find out how we’re doing that from our offices in Manchester, London and Bristol.

By Gemma Cullen, Head of HR Change, Delivery & Recruitment, Government Digital Service

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Who we are

At the Government Digital Service (GDS), our mission is to build a simple, joined-up and personalised experience of government for everyone.

Through our platforms, products and services we aim to make interacting with the government better for citizens, and to make government more efficient and user focused.

To do this successfully, we need diverse and inclusive technology teams and we need to be representative of the wider UK. So we were delighted this year to join the Manchester digital community through our office in central Manchester. It’s great to be part of the Manchester digital and tech sector making a difference to people from the region and beyond.

What we do

Our 2021-2024 organisational strategy outlined several areas of focus for GDS over the next three years including:

Maintaining GOV.UK as the single trusted online destination for government information and services

Our priority is to ensure GOV.UK continues to be the place the public go for government guidance, information and services.

One of the ways we’re doing this is by transforming the infrastructure of GOV.UK to provide personalised user experience across different devices and channels. We’ve just started this work but you can find out more about our plans in a recent blog post.

Creating a simple digital identity solution that works for everyone

We want to make it easier for people who need to interact with government on multiple occasions to be able to do just that. Often government needs to have a certain level of confidence that a person accessing a service is who they say they are to protect users and make online services secure.

However, at the moment there are many ways to sign in to different government services. Too often, users have to enter the same data again and again which is frustrating and time-consuming. So we are working with colleagues across government to build a new single sign-on and identity checking system.

As well as giving people a seamless, joined-up experience of government, this system will make online services more inclusive by exploring ways that users without common ID like passports and driving licenses can easily prove their identity, when needed.

Providing common tools and expert services for government

In the ten years since we were created, public sector organisations have developed multidisciplinary digital teams who deliver high quality products and services to their users.

Our role now is to see where there’s a need for common platforms and products and build those. This means that public sector teams don’t need to reinvent the wheel and are free to focus on other challenges.

We have several existing tools that we’ll be maintaining to continue to support central and local government. These include GOV.UK Notify, GOV.UK Pay, GOV.UK PaaS which allows teams to build and host a service without needing to procure infrastructure capacity, and the GOV.UK design system that supports teams to quickly build accessible digital services in the style of GOV.UK. These services are used by hundreds of public sector organisations saving them time and money.

We’re also looking at tackling the challenge of the growing number of PDF forms used by government. We’re talking to teams across government who publish forms on GOV.UK so we can develop a solution that works for policy teams and the general public.

Working at GDS

As you can see, we have ambitious plans to make digital government work better for everyone. We’re looking for passionate and talented people to join us in innovating and improving government services for millions of people

If you’re interested in being part of the transformation, check out our Manchester job vacancies on our careers site.

Want to read more or write for us?

Read more blogs from GMCA Digital.

Have a topic to blog that would be of interest to Greater Manchester’s digital sector? Email us further details and we’ll be in touch - gmcadigital@greatermanchester-ca.gov.uk

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