Press release

The UK and US meet to forge new steps toward "even closer” digital collaboration

The United States and UK announced their intent to strengthen ties between each nation’s technical teams during a UK government visit.

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The UK Minister for the Cabinet Office Matthew Hancock, White House Office of Management and Budget Director Shaun Donovan, and the United States Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith announced their intent to strengthen ties between each nation’s technical teams during a visit by the UK government to the White House. The UK tech delegation is being led by Minister Hancock and UK Government Chief Technology Officer Liam Maxwell.

Governments around the world are reinventing the way they deliver public services because their people expect it. In their daily lives, people can file their taxes using their computers, and book a car service using a ride-hailing app on their phone. By adopting the best practices from the private sector and building digital services that meet people’s needs, we can make the delivery of policies and programmes more effective. A more effective government is one that earns the trust of its people, and restores their faith in the institution itself.

Minister for the Cabinet Office, Matthew Hancock said:

Without smart, energetic and connected talent our digital programme would fall apart. By sharing knowledge and exchanging skillsets we build digital teams that are the best they can be. I’m incredibly proud of all the UK Government Digital Service has achieved over the last few years.

I look forward to leading the next phase of GDS – transatlantic cooperation will be important in helping the digital operations in both the UK and US government’s scale up and succeed.

White House Office of Management and Budget Director, Shaun Donovan said:

Over the last few years, teams like the US Digital Service and 18F have rapidly advanced America’s technology infrastructure and ability to compete in today’s digital economy.

By leveraging the very best of our 2 nations’ technical and digital talent, we’ll continue enhancing our governments’ ability to deliver critical services like healthcare, veterans benefits, and access to higher education, to American and British citizens alike.

US Chief Technology Officer, Megan Smith said:

We have such a long history of close technical collaboration and friendship between the United States and the United Kingdom. It’s only fitting that we would continue this collaborative spirit for making parallel progress in digital government.

We look forward to sharing best practices as we work to improve the lives of people in each of our countries.

UK Government Chief Technology Officer, Liam Maxwell said:

I commend the US for the great strides they’ve made to transform their technology infrastructure and I look forward to working with them even more closely in the years ahead.

I’m proud that the UK has been at the forefront of these digital reforms – with our open GOV.UK code now used by other governments around the world – but it’s clear that we need to work together with our partners to keep ahead of the curve.

The US. and UK have a shared history of collaborating to accomplish some of our greatest inventions and technical feats. Teams from both countries did seminal work that created modern digital computing. Breakthrough work included the UK’s Bletchley Park code breakers and the ENIAC ballistics calculation advances in the US. By discussing best practices from the private sector and building digital services that meet people’s needs, both governments will make the delivery of policies and programmes more effective.

The US is building its web services to meet user needs, to identify and fix problems, and to help upgrade the government’s technology infrastructure with our digital coalition made up of the US Digital Service, 18F, and the Presidential Innovation Fellows.

This work takes many best practices from the work that had already been started by the UK, which aims to be digital by default, and build on openness and transparency to strengthen people’s trust in government. In doing so, it is changing the way that the UK government buys goods and services, thereby saving money and supporting growth in the economy.

Additional background

This collaborative work builds on many best practices from work already started by the UK, which aims to be digital by default, and builds on openness and transparency efforts to strengthen people’s trust in government. This includes strengthening people’s trust in government by fostering greater openness and transparency, including the award winning GOV.UK single domain – which has received nearly 2 billion visits since its launch 3 years go. The UK government has also transformed 20 of the UK’s highest volume public services to make them better for users and transformed the way it buys goods and services, thereby saving money and supporting growth in the economy.

The US also continues to build its web services to meet user needs, to identify and fix problems, and to help upgrade the government’s technology infrastructure with our digital coalition made up of the US Digital Service, 18F, and the Presidential Innovation Fellows. From the Open Government Partnership to the Solutions Summit, each country is committed to sharing best practices, improving digital services, collaborating on common projects, and championing each country’s growing digital economies.

Published 25 September 2015