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United Kingdom

GOV.UK (UK0074)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: United Kingdom – Third National Action Plan 2016-18

Action Plan Cycle: 2016

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Cabinet Office (Government Digital Service)

Support Institution(s): Cabinet Office (Government Digital Service); Democratic Society, Involve, Natural Resource Governance Institute, The Open Data Institute

Policy Areas

Open Data, Records Management

IRM Review

IRM Report: United Kingdom End-of-Term Report 2016-2018, United Kingdom Mid-Term Report 2016-2018

Starred: No

Early Results: Marginal

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information Technology

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Objective: Use GOV.UK to help all of government become more participative, open and accountable to its users.

Status quo: Centralising all government web publishing to GOV.UK has already radically improved access to information and public accountability. Information including departmental plans, transparency data and public consultations is now more consistently presented and easier to find in a single place. But there is enormous potential to do more. The vision for GOV.UK over the next two parliaments is to make government work for users - using the opportunity of a single shared platform to increase openness, accountability and civic participation right across government.

Ambition: While GOV.UK has become the best place to find government services and information, it’s not yet the best place it can be. GOV.UK has brought government web presences together and we now need to ensure that it really does work for all users and this means, among many other things, ensuring that government is participative, open and accountable.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

12. GOV.UK

Commitment text:Assess opportunities for digital consultation tools, rebuild navigation to bring guidance and policy together by topic, provide APIs for government content and provide a full version history of every published page.

Objective:Use GOV.UK to help all of government become more participative, open and accountable to its users.

Status quo:Centralising all government web publishing to GOV.UK has already radically improved access to information and public accountability. Information including departmental plans, transparency data and public consultations is now more consistently presented and easier to find in a single place.

But there is enormous potential to do more. The vision for GOV.UK over the next two parliaments is to make government work for users - using the opportunity of a single shared platform to increase openness, accountability and civic participation right across government.

Ambition:While GOV.UK has become the best place to find government services and information, it's not yet the best place it can be. GOV.UK has brought government web presences together and we now need to ensure that it really does work for all users and this means, among many other things, ensuring that government is participative, open and accountable.

Milestones:

1. Complete a discovery project to identify opportunities for improved digital consultation tools, identifying next steps (May 2016 September 2016)

2. Improve tagging, navigation, search and notification systems on GOV.UK, so publishers can begin to join together related content (including both guidance and policy) and transactions as coherent services (2017

3. Provide APIs for government content (April 2017 March 2018)

4. Provide a full version history of every published page (April 2017 March4018)

Responsible institution: Cabinet Office (Government Digital Service)

Supporting institutions: Democratic Society, Involve, Natural Resource Governance, Institute, The Open Data Institute

Start date: May 2016

End date: March 2018

Commitment Aim:

Launched in 2012, GOV.UK is the platform for the websites of all government departments and many other agencies and public bodies.[Note 121: Gov.uk, ‘Welcome to GOV.UK', https://www.gov.uk/. The website won design of the year in 2013: The Guardian, ‘'Direct and well-mannered' government website named design of the year',

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2013/apr/16/government-website-design-of-year ] The commitment aimed to improve the existing platform to make it more ‘participative, open and accountable', by improving navigation, publishing full histories on sites and providing Application Programming Interfaces (API) for content (making it easier for developers to use the data to build applications).

Status

Midterm: Substantial

The implementation process has engaged users through set workshops, publicity via blogs, a short survey and informal encouragement that users get in touch.[Note 122: Blog update, especially the section on the improvements to the ‘common user journey', https://insidegovuk.blog.gov.uk/2017/10/16/what-we-delivered-in-the-first-3-months-of-our-new-roadmap/; and asking the public for ideas on the AP update, https://insidegovuk.blog.gov.uk/2017/09/11/a-public-api-for-gov-uk-content-inviting-expressions-of-interest/%5D According to the July 2017 update, milestones 1 and 2 were complete.[Note 123: Cabinet Office, Open Government National Action Plan 2016-18: July 2017 Commitment Progress Updates (commitment update for July 2017), pre-publication passed to author. ]

The team has worked to make data both easier to publish internally and easier to find externally, through a series of workshops and continuous engagement with users.[Note 124: Blog update, especially this section on the improvements to the ‘common user journey'. https://insidegovuk.blog.gov.uk/2017/10/16/what-we-delivered-in-the-first-3-months-of-our-new-roadmap/%5D This includes the development of a new design for the homepage making it easier to publish and label data and creating personalised reminders for those working on the site to take particular actions. The work on APIs is under way and the team has finished a ‘discovery' into full history publication.[Note 125: Data Blog, ‘8 things I learned about data discoveries', https://data.blog.gov.uk/2017/01/09/8-things-i-learned-about-data-discoveries/ ] CSOs said that there had been less progress and, where progress was made, it was not well communicated. Some organisations expressed concern that certain milestones were pushed further into the future.[Note 126: Interview with Michelle Brook, Democratic Society, 22 September 2017.]

End of term: Complete

In April 2018 GOV.UK launched its new public API, the final part of the commitment left incomplete from the midterm report. The API was designed in an open and public way (so anyone interested could see the entire process by which it was created) and drew on the needs of users that were gathered from the blog as it went along.[Note 127: Inside.Gov (2018), What we learnt from creating API documentation, https://insidegovuk.blog.gov.uk/2018/04/04/what-we-learnt-from-creating-api-documentation%5D The team behind it explained that this was a public API meaning others could publish and republish data more easily.[Note 128: Inside GOV.UK (2018), ‘What we learnt from creating API documentation', 4 April 2018, https://insidegovuk.blog.gov.uk/2018/04/04/what-we-learnt-from-creating-api-documentation/ ] As the work on discovery has been finished, the commitment is now complete.[Note 129: Interview with Katie Holder and Thom Townsend, DCMS, 8 August 2018.]

Did It Open Government?

Access to Information: Marginal

Civic Participation: Marginal

Before the commitment some parts of the operation of GOV.UK (such as the API) were hard to access or not working as well as they could. Much of the work in the commitment was around infrastructure and was a continuation of the work from the previous plan. The commitment has improved access to information by making more information available and making it easier to find, use and re-use via the new API. The continual work by the GOV.UK team in engaging with users, through a series of workshops, consultations and informal contacts, was evidence of a minor increase in civic participation.

Carried Forward?

The commitment was not carried forward, though the IRM researcher recommends that innovations with GOV.UK continue in some form.


United Kingdom's Commitments

  1. Grants Data

    UK0090, 2019, E-Government

  2. Public Participation

    UK0091, 2019, E-Government

  3. Open Policy Making

    UK0092, 2019, Public Participation

  4. Open Contracting Data

    UK0093, 2019, E-Government

  5. Natural Resource Transparency

    UK0094, 2019, E-Government

  6. Innovation in Democracy Programme

    UK0095, 2019, Public Participation

  7. Sustainable Open Government

    UK0096, 2019, Capacity Building

  8. Local Transparency

    UK0097, 2019, E-Government

  9. Beneficial Ownership – UK

    UK0063, 2016, Beneficial Ownership

  10. Natural Resource Transparency

    UK0064, 2016, Extractive Industries

  11. Anti-Corruption Strategy

    UK0065, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  12. Anti-Corruption Innovation Hub

    UK0066, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  13. Open Contracting

    UK0067, 2016, E-Government

  14. Grants Data

    UK0068, 2016, E-Government

  15. Elections Data

    UK0069, 2016, Capacity Building

  16. Revising Freedom of Information Act Code of Practice

    UK0070, 2016, Open Contracting and Procurement

  17. Identifying and Publishing Core Data Assets

    UK0071, 2016, Legislation & Regulation

  18. Involving Data Users in Shaping the Future of Open Data

    UK0072, 2016, Capacity Building

  19. Better Use of Data Assets

    UK0073, 2016, Capacity Building

  20. GOV.UK

    UK0074, 2016, Open Data

  21. Ongoing Collaborative Approach to Open Government Reform

    UK0075, 2016, E-Government

  22. Open Government at All Levels

    UK0076, 2016, OGP

  23. Open Policy-Making and Public Engagement

    UK0077, 2016, Capacity Building

  24. Public Sector Innovation

    UK0078, 2016, Capacity Building

  25. OCDS Implementation

    UK0079, 2016, E-Government

  26. Open-Up Government

    UK0080, 2016, Capacity Building

  27. Open Data Plan

    UK0081, 2016, E-Government

  28. Open Data Service

    UK0082, 2016, Capacity Building

  29. Statswales

    UK0083, 2016, E-Government

  30. Data Research Centre Wales

    UK0084, 2016, E-Government

  31. Government Social Research Publication Protocol

    UK0085, 2016, E-Government

  32. Gov.Wales

    UK0086, 2016, E-Government

  33. Code of Practice in Supply Chains

    UK0087, 2016, Labor

  34. Starred commitment National Indicators for Wales

    UK0088, 2016, Fiscal Transparency

  35. Starred commitment Well-Being Duty

    UK0089, 2016, E-Government

  36. National Information Infrastructure

    UK0042, 2013, Records Management

  37. NHS England Website and Network

    UK0043, 2013, Health

  38. Revised Local Authories Data Transparency Code

    UK0044, 2013, Capacity Building

  39. Transparent Social Investment Market

    UK0045, 2013, Open Data

  40. Manage and Capture Digital Records

    UK0046, 2013, Capacity Building

  41. Starred commitment Cross-Government Anti-Corruption Plan

    UK0047, 2013, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  42. Starred commitment Company Beneficial Ownership Information

    UK0048, 2013, Beneficial Ownership

  43. Access to Police Records

    UK0049, 2013, Justice

  44. Transparency in Construction

    UK0050, 2013, Infrastructure & Transport

  45. Legislative Openness

    UK0051, 2013, Beneficial Ownership

  46. Whistleblowing

    UK0052, 2013, Legislation & Regulation

  47. Open Contracting

    UK0053, 2013, Open Contracting and Procurement

  48. Open Contracting Scotland

    UK0054, 2013, E-Government

  49. Starred commitment International Aid Transparency

    UK0055, 2013, Aid

  50. Health Care Data

    UK0056, 2013, Health

  51. Open Policy Making

    UK0057, 2013, E-Government

  52. Sciencewise

    UK0058, 2013, E-Government

  53. Publication of Draft Legislation

    UK0059, 2013, Legislature

  54. Opendatacommunities Programme

    UK0060, 2013, E-Government

  55. PSI Re-Use Directive

    UK0061, 2013, Legislation & Regulation

  56. Starred commitment Extractive Transparency

    UK0062, 2013, E-Government

  57. Ensuring a Clear Process to Support Reduction in Collection of ‘Unnecessary Data’

    UK0024, 2011, E-Government

  58. Developing Data.Gov.Uk and Identifying Other Digital Channels to Support Users

    UK0025, 2011,

  59. Evidence and Databases Behind Policy Statements

    UK0026, 2011, E-Government

  60. Data Underlying Surveys

    UK0027, 2011, E-Government

  61. Examining Ways for Improving the Use of Existing Published Data

    UK0028, 2011, E-Government

  62. Stimulate the Market for Innovative Use of Open Data

    UK0029, 2011, Open Data

  63. Spend up to 5% of Budget Support on Accountability

    UK0030, 2011, E-Government

  64. Include the OGP Eligibility Criteria to Determine Readiness for UK Budget Support

    UK0031, 2011, Aid

  65. Publish Aid Information from All ODA Government Departments

    UK0032, 2011, Aid

  66. Use a Single Domain for Government Services

    UK0033, 2011, E-Government

  67. Mandate ‘Channel Shift’

    UK0034, 2011, E-Government

  68. Go Online for All Consultations

    UK0035, 2011, E-Government

  69. Develop Practical Guidelines on Departmental Access to Internet and Social Media

    UK0036, 2011, Civic Space

  70. Open Data and Application Interfaces in Ways That Encourage Businesses

    UK0037, 2011, E-Government

  71. Create Cross-Government Standards on APIs

    UK0038, 2011,

  72. Establish Standardised Formats for User-Satisfaction Data

    UK0039, 2011, Records Management

  73. Provide Government Documents in Open Standard Format

    UK0040, 2011, E-Government

  74. Implement Crowd-Sourcing and Engagement Processes

    UK0041, 2011,

  75. New Power to Secure Release of Valuable Datasets

    UK0001, 2011,

  76. New, Higher Cost Cap for FOI

    UK0002, 2011, Right to Information

  77. Meaningful Disincentives

    UK0003, 2011,

  78. Maximum Time Limits

    UK0004, 2011, Right to Information

  79. Altered Procurement Rules

    UK0005, 2011,

  80. Mandating Phased Introduction of ‘Public by Default’

    UK0006, 2011, E-Government

  81. Formalising Public Data Principles

    UK0007, 2011, Records Management

  82. Having in Place an Open Data Compliance Monitoring Process

    UK0008, 2011, Records Management

  83. Making Clear the Minimum Citizens Can Expect on Publication and Quality of Data

    UK0009, 2011,

  84. Ensuring a Line of Continuous Improvement for Public Service Providers

    UK0010, 2011, Open Data

  85. Encourage Continuous Improvement

    UK0011, 2011, Records Management

  86. Setting Out How Citizens Can Challenge Where There Is Failure in the Process

    UK0012, 2011, Public Participation

  87. Establishing an Obligation to Consider and Act on User Feedback

    UK0013, 2011, Public Participation

  88. Making Clear That Licenses Must Cover Free, Commercial Re-Use

    UK0014, 2011,

  89. Merge Information Asset Registers…Into a Single Data Inventory

    UK0015, 2011,

  90. Set Consistent Expectations of the Appropriate Quality of Meta-Data

    UK0016, 2011, Records Management

  91. For Data Co-Ordinated Across Government, Set Definitions

    UK0017, 2011, E-Government

  92. Introducing Corporate Responsibility at Transparency Board Level

    UK0018, 2011, Records Management

  93. Strengthening and Broadening the Public Sector Transparency Board

    UK0019, 2011, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  94. Bringing the Sector Transparency Board Model to Other Parts of Public Sector

    UK0020, 2011, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  95. Reviewing the Existing Governance and Regulatory Model

    UK0021, 2011, Records Management

  96. Establishing a Framework for Public Service Providers Data Inventories

    UK0022, 2011, Records Management

  97. Developing a Clear Methodology to Support Intelligent Inventories

    UK0023, 2011, Records Management