Policy paper

Action 5: all departments will redesign services handling over 100,000 transactions each year

Updated 16 January 2015

This action forms part of the Government Digital Strategy.

Here’s how departments are responding to this action:

The Attorney General’s Office

Departmental digital strategy commitments (December 2012)

The Law Officers’ departments do not have any services handling over 100,000 transactions a year.

Progress during 2013

Law Officers’ departments do not have any services handling over 100,000 transactions a year.

Planned activities in 2014

Law Officers’ departments do not have any services handling over 100,000 transactions a year.

Progress during 2014

Law Officers’ departments do not have any services handling over 100,000 transactions a year.

Planned activities in 2015

Law Officers’ departments do not have any services handling over 100,000 transactions a year.

Cabinet Office

Departmental digital strategy commitments (December 2012)

Cabinet Office will transform and iterate the digital solution for the Electoral Registration Transformation Programme (ERTP), as a transactional service of significant size by volume, by March 2013.

Progress during 2013

An experienced and qualified project leader has been in place since October 2012 and has worked in partnership with the development team in GDS and its primary suppliers to transform and develop the digital solution. Work is on track. During 2013 a complete dry run of the digital service, matching all electoral registers with Department for Work and Pensions data, has successfully taken place. It showed that a minimum of 78% electors should be transferred automatically to the new system when it is launched. A beta version of the online application has now been launched.

Planned activities in 2014

Complete digital development and integration testing. Subject to ministerial decision the ERTP will go live in June 2014.

Progress during 2014

The ERTP’s online registration service, Individual Electoral Registration went live in June. By the end of the year it had received over 2 million applications.

Planned activities in 2015

The department will work towards making all its services handling over 100,000 each year digital by default. The new Honours and appointments service will be redesigned over the year.

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

Departmental digital strategy commitments (December 2012)

All Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) partner organisations responsible for services over 100,000 transactions a year are currently redesigning, or are planning to redesign services as digital by default. The BIS exemplar services are:

  • Insolvency Service redundancy payments
  • Intellectual Property Office (IPO) patent applications and renewals
  • Land Registry digital services
  • the National Apprenticeship Service

Progress during 2013

The 4 exemplar projects started in April 2013 with a discovery phase to define the user need and scope of the service changes:

  • National Apprenticeship Service has completed its discovery stage
  • Insolvency Service has progressed to an alpha stage, where it will develop and test prototypes for its service
  • Land Registry has completed its alpha stage and is currently working closely with GDS, to review the scope of its exemplar
  • IPO has progressed to a beta stage with its online Patent Renewals service

All remain on track to go-live with exemplar services by March 2015. In addition, the Student Loans Company has continued to make service improvements launching its 24+ Advanced Learning Loans and an online application process for part-time students.

Planned activities in 2014

BIS will continue to work with its exemplars, supporting them in making their new services live and also in developing further transformation plans to redesign other services. Companies House will also continue to work with GDS to offer access to filing and search services through a single, combined interface, expected to go-live in spring 2014.

Progress during 2014

Two exemplars are now live: IPO’s Renew a patent and the part-time student loan application component of Student Loans Company’s Student finance exemplar. Student Funding Agency’s Find an apprenticeship will be in public beta by the end of the year. The Insolvency Service’s Redundancy payments exemplar and the Land Registry project are currently in alpha.

BIS and its partner organisations have developed other digital services. For example IPO went live with Orphan Works digital service. This enables users to request to use a copyrighted image where the original rights holder cannot be located.

Planned activities in 2015

All BIS exemplar projects will be available for public use by March 2015. BIS’s 5 exemplar organisations will continue to create and deliver new digital services, using learning from the digital exemplar projects. It will monitor progress through the BIS and partner organisations’ digital services roadmap.

BIS will continue to encourage digital by default approaches across its other partner organisations, ensuring they have relevant strategies and plans in place.

BIS will continue to support the development of digital capability across BIS organisations. The strengthened Digital and Technology team, which will be in place in early 2015, will lead on this.

Department for Culture, Media and Support

Departmental digital strategy commitments (December 2012)

This is not directly applicable to the Department for Culture, Media and Support (DCMS) because the department does not provide transactional services. However, it is very much in the lead on electronic communications and internet policy.

Progress during 2013

This action is not applicable to DCMS.

Planned activities in 2014

This action is not applicable to DCMS.

Department for Education

Departmental digital strategy commitments (December 2012)

The Department for Education (DfE) has instigated 2 projects which will support the government’s commitment to becoming digital by default. Firstly, there will be the Schools Performance Data Programme which will for the first time bring together school spending data, school performance data, pupil cohort data and Ofsted judgments in a parent-friendly portal, searchable by postcode. Secondly, there will be a redesign of the DfE customer contact channels where it will be moving to further digital channel engagement over more traditional methods.

Progress during 2013

The Schools Performance Data Programme contract has, with the approval of GDS, been awarded. The company has worked with DfE and GDS to ensure a common agile approach to development and broader adherence to the Digital by Default Service Standard. DfE has commissioned a supplier to help re-engineer all of its online forms, including its Customer Contact Hub. The Academies Conversion Process and the Online Marketplace are currently in alpha development.

Planned activities in 2014

The Schools Performance Data Programme customer-facing portal will be launched in the first quarter of 2014. The DfE Customer Contact Hub should also be delivered by then, although this will be dependent on the findings of the channel shift programme which is currently with the department. Further iterations of the Academies Conversion Process and the Online Marketplace will continue within 2014.

Progress during 2014

DfE reassessed and re-scoped the School Performance Data programme to focus on changing priorities.

Planned activities in 2015

Following the re-scope of the School Performance Data programme, the Digital Delivery Unit will work with the business to design and implement new services in an agile and user-centred way.

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Departmental digital strategy commitments (December 2012)

Its 2 exemplar transactional redevelopments are the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Delivery Programme (for farmer payments) and Waste Registration and Applications. In light of the experiences from these exemplar developments, it will review its other high-volume transactions.

Progress during 2013

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has selected 2 exemplar transactional redevelopments which have proceeded well in 2013 towards their agreed implementation dates.

The CAP Delivery Programme for farmer payments commenced the release of alpha code (for the Rural Land Register Viewer) by end November 2013, with a live service ready for January 2015.

Phase 1 of the development of a new system for the Lower Tier Registration of Waste Carriers, Brokers and Dealers will have completed its pilot build in November 2013.

Defra will consider the redevelopment of other high-volume Defra transactions, depending on resource and commercial considerations.

Planned activities in 2014

Phase 1 of the development of a new system for Lower Tier Registration of Waste Carriers, Brokers and Dealers will go live to users in January 2014. Phase 2 of the development will, subject to funding, extend the system developed in Phase 1 to cover existing Upper Tier carriers and is expected to go live to users in March 2014.

Progress during 2014

Defra’s 2 exemplar services progressed in 2014. Important milestones were:

  • Rural payments for farmers went into private beta in July 2014 with the controlled release to customers of the ability to register and manage their land entitlements online
  • Phase 1 of the Waste carrier registration was publicly launched at the end of 2013 (over 95% of registrations are now completed digitally, with a 95% satisfaction rate).

Planned activities in 2015

Rural payments will be made available for use by the public. Phase 2 of the Waste carrier registration will launch, this is extending the system to cover existing Upper Tier waste carriers.

As resources and other considerations allow, it will redevelop other key Defra transactions (like the Cattle Tracing System, Fishing Rod Licences and Flood Warnings).

Department for International Development

Departmental digital strategy commitments (December 2012)

The Department for International Development (DFID) has no service that carries out this volume of transactions, but where it does redesign transactions it will ensure it applies the user-centred principles developed by GDS.

Progress during 2013

DFID is committed to applying user-centred principles when it redesigns services.

Planned activities in 2014

DFID will ensure that user-centred principles are applied when it redesigns services.

Progress during 2014

DFID is committed to applying user-centred principles when it redesigns services.

Planned activities in 2015

DFID will ensure that user-centred principles are applied when it redesigns services.

Department for Transport

Departmental digital strategy commitments (December 2012)

It will re-design 3 exemplar transactions by 2015: DVLA vehicles online, DVLA personalised registrations, and DVLA integrated enquiries platform. Any service in excess of 100,000 transactions a year will be fundamentally redesigned to become digital within 5 years wherever it is cost effective and affordable to do so. The Department for Transport (DfT) plans to achieve 80% take-up as soon as possible afterwards.

Progress during 2013

DfT’s first exemplar transaction, the DVLA online integrated enquiry platform, entered beta stage and remains on target for its delivery date. The 2 other exemplars started discovery phase. VOSA has developed plans to redesign the MOT transaction and Driving Standards Agency has made improvements to the online booking of the practical driving test.

Planned activities in 2014

DfT’s 3 exemplars will be made live. Design of other high volume transactions will be planned and prioritised as part of the strategic reviews being undertaken, with plans to be agreed and published by April 2014.

Progress during 2014

View driving licence, a Drivers and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) service, went live in October.

Planned Activities in 2015

DVLA’s Vehicle management and Personalised registrations will go live. These are part of DVLA’s integrated enquiry platform, a digital platform for driver and vehicle enquiry services.

DVLA will extend its approach to other high volume transactions such as improvements to car tax renewal as well as a view vehicle record service for transport fleets. Share my driving licence will give authorised third parties access to driver data.

Department for Work and Pensions

Departmental digital strategy commitments (December 2012)

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will redesign services handling over 100,000 transactions each year, starting with 3 exemplar services: Universal Credit, Personal Independence Payment and Carer’s Allowance. As well as these transactional services, DWP’s ambition is to digitalise as much of the department’s activity as possible, where this could deliver a better service for the user and better outcomes for the department.

Progress during 2013

DWP agreed to deliver 3 exemplar digital services starting from 2013: Universal Credit, Personal Independence Payments and Carer’s Allowance, each of which will handle over 100,000 transactions a year.

Carer’s Allowance remains the furthest advanced of the 3 exemplar services. GDS approved a minimum viable product and the product went live in mid-October. This made it the second of the government’s exemplar services to reach go-live state.

In parallel with the Universal Credit pathfinder service, DWP has worked with the GDS to develop a ‘proof of concept’ for the future service. The proof of concept was completed on 3 October 2013, developed by a multidisciplinary team of DWP and GDS staff.

Personal Independence Payment completed its discovery phase in a 4-week window in September 2013, in line with GDS timescales. The product is now going through internal governance with a view to a decision on whether to move to alpha stage being taken in December 2013.

Planned activities in 2014

During 2014, a principal focus will be on ensuring DWP builds the internal digital skills that are necessary to enable future digital plans. The appointment of a new director general for digital transformation is likely to provide a catalyst for future strategic thinking in this area.

Progress during 2014

Carer’s Allowance digital service went live in November. The digital service attracted a user satisfaction rating of 90%. After the introduction of the new digital service, the majority of Carer’s Allowance claims were made online.

Universal Credit digital service passed its alpha service standard assessment, enabling it to go into beta. By the end of the year, testing began on the full scope of Universal Credit for all claimant types in a limited area.

The Personal Independence Payment digital service is unusual amongst the exemplars in that it depends on face-to-face interactions between healthcare professionals and service users. DWP started discovery in September, looking at how the service can be scaled to handle the volumes of existing Disability Living Allowance reassessments.

DWP restructured its New State Pension programme, and created 2 new projects. These are the Secure change of address service and the National Insurance and New State Pension transformation project. DWP embarked on a joint discovery on the latter with HM Revenue and Customs at HMRC’s digital delivery centre in Newcastle and started alpha in October.

Planned activities in 2015

DWP will continue to work on its 2 exemplar programmes: Universal Credit and Personal Independence Payment. It will also continue to work on new digital initiatives throughout 2015.

Department of Energy and Climate Change

Departmental digital strategy commitments (December 2012)

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) will redesign existing services to be digital by default (subject to business cases reviews), collaborating with ALBs and partners where necessary and using the Coal Authority’s mining reports as their pilot.

Progress during 2013

DECC’s digital strategy identifies 2 exemplar projects to be digital by default. DECC will use the learning from these projects to help shape and redesign the rest of its services:

  • Energy Saving Advice service is a channel shift project, which is currently only available as a telephone helpline; it is in discovery phase, building up a detailed understanding of user needs and how they might best be met
  • One-Stop Land and Property Shop is a collaboration between the Coal Authority and HM Land Registry (one of BIS’s exemplar projects); a pilot is currently running with 7 local authorities

Planned activities in 2014

DECC will continue to develop the 2 identified exemplar projects and continue to share the learnings to help shape and redesign other DECC services.

Progress during 2014

Digital projects during the year included a One-Stop Land and Property Shop in collaboration with the Coal Authority and Land Registry.

The Coal Authority’s mining reports were an integral part of the portal. Benefits from digitisation included:

  • a reduction in the turnaround of reports, from 2 to 3 days with the paper-based approach to 2 minutes with digital
  • 74% of users now using the digital channel (this continues to grow)
  • a 75% reduction in administration costs

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) for domestic homes was run as an exemplar project, and launched in April 2014. Carried out by Ofgem, it used an agile approach, made significant savings and was supplied on time. An RHI calculator was launched in July.

Planned activities in 2015

DECC will continue to redesign and design services to meet service standards. It will focus on joining up propositions to make it easier to take up offers.

Department of Health

Departmental digital strategy commitments (December 2012)

Department of Health (DH) does not currently directly deliver services handling over 100,000 transactions to the public. Should this change in future, it will ensure these services are designed to meet the Digital by Default Service Standard.

Progress during 2013

DH does not have any exemplar services, but several large transactional services managed by its ALBs have been identified. The new portfolio managers are supporting these teams to understand the Digital by Default Service Standard and the implications of this for their projects.

Compliance with the standard has been incorporated in the DH approvals processes and into all related guidance to ensure it is fully understood by all areas of the business, including technology, procurement and policy partners.

Planned activities in 2014

DH will review all its services against the Digital by Default Service Standard and identify any that require redesign. This will also extend to offline services and will identify any that would benefit from a digital redesign.

Progress during 2014

Although DH is not one of the transactional departments, it adopted this model and developed exemplars in line with the Digital by Default Service Standard. Among internal services where DH took this approach was the department’s new intranet. This was used to demonstrate the benefits of user research, testing and iterative development. It made savings of 90% against the previous model and raised staff satisfaction from 27% to over 80%.

Planned activities in 2015

DH will continue to follow the exemplar approach of service redesign and will make this the norm as expectations and capability increase.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Departmental digital strategy commitments (December 2012)

Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) will work actively to transform its services to digital by default and enhance its online customer service. It will begin this work by digitising key standard elements around its diverse range of transactions, including application, appointment booking and payments, as well as continuing work to integrate digital into its crisis response handling.

Progress during 2013

FCO has been redesigning and digitising a number of its services. It has been:

  • working to expand online registration of birth and deaths to overseas customers
  • developing an online payment system for the highest volume transactional services
  • redesigning the academic technology approval scheme

FCO has also:

  • digitised the process of verifying an ‘apostille’ issued by the UK government within the last 5 years
  • developed an internal crisis hub to support its crisis response (the team responsible was nominated for a 2013 UK Agile award)
  • redesigned the provision of travel advice online, improving accessibility of key information
  • moved to provide more services on social media, with FCO consular staff now directly responding to questions from British nationals about travel overseas via the @fcotravel Twitter channel

Planned activities in 2014

FCO’s digital transformation unit will begin work scoping its remit and helping prioritise forthcoming activity. The transformation unit will also look at capability and training needs across the organisation.

Progress during 2014

FCO’s new digital transformation unit established a roadmap for the redesign of FCO’s external services. It began using that roadmap with 2 service transformations going live in 2014 (Chevening Scholarships and online appointment booking).

Planned activities in 2015

Implementation of FCO’s digital roadmap will continue, including work on emergency travel documents and legalisation. FCO will also take on more ownership of some transactions currently maintained by GDS.

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs

Redesign starting April 2013, implemented by March 2015 (to be included in relevant business plans). Following this, departments will redesign all services handling over 100,000 transactions each year.

Departmental digital strategy commitments (December 2012)

HMRC will agree 4 significant exemplar service transformations with Cabinet Office:

  • PAYE online
  • Paperless Self Assessment
  • Tax for my business
  • Agent online self-serve

HMRC will start to redesign these services by April 2013 and implement them by March 2015. It will also undertake a review of all other transactional services and those handling over 100,000 transactions a year will be redesigned in the next spending review period.

Progress during 2013

HMRC has agreed 4 digital exemplar services with Cabinet Office and are on track to meet its spending review 2013 and autumn statement 2013 objectives. The department has started by delivering the underlying digital infrastructure, the multi-channel digital tax platform. HMRC’s focus has been on delivering its 4 exemplars. These are the basis for transforming HMRC into a truly digital by default public service organisation.

Planned activities in 2014

HMRC will continue to work closely with GDS to redesign its services in line with the spending review 2013 transformation.

The department will deliver the multi-channel digital tax platform by April 2014. Once built, HMRC will start work on redesigning all its services with over 100,000 transactions.

Progress during 2014

Three of HMRC’s digital exemplar services entered public beta and were available for public use:

  • Digital Self Assessment
  • PAYE for employees (focusing on company car benefits)
  • Your tax account

Planned activities in 2015

Agent online self-serve will enter public beta.

HMRC will conduct annual strategy reviews and incorporate policy and legislative issues early in the lifecycle of digital services.

HM Treasury

Departmental digital strategy commitments (December 2012)

This is not applicable to HM Treasury (HMT) as it is not a transactional department.

Progress during 2013

HMT has been working with GDS to agree guidance on taking agile activities through the business case process.

Planned activities in 2014

HMT will produce revised business case guidance for agile development.

Progress during 2014

HMT is not a transactional department so this action is not applicable.

Planned activities in 2015

HMT is not a transactional department so this action is not applicable.

Home Office

Departmental digital strategy commitments (December 2012)

Home Office is one of government’s 7 major transactional departments. Its proposed exemplar services are:

  • Visitor visa applications
  • Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) criminal record checking service
  • e-Gates at the Border

The department will seek to work with GDS on redesign of these major transactional services. A plan will be developed for the redesign of all Home Office major transactions, based on the learning from the transformation of these 3 important services.

Progress during 2013

Home Office is one of government’s 7 major transactional departments. Its exemplar services are:

  • Visas
  • DBS criminal record checking service
  • Registered Traveller Service

The department has made good progress in redesigning its large transactional services.

The registered traveller exemplar completed its alpha phase in November 2013. Beta development is now underway.

Discovery was completed on the DBS exemplar in September 2013.

Alpha development for the Visas exemplar ran until the end of July 2013. Beta development on Tier 2 visa extensions is now underway.

Outside of the exemplar programme, Her Majesty’s Passport Office’s E-Forms went live as a beta in November 2013. The passport application online channel went live as a public beta in October 2013.

Planned activities in 2014

The Registered Traveller Service exemplar beta is expected to complete by March 2014 before going live in April 2014.

Following discovery on the DBS exemplar, GDS and Home Office have agreed that, due to contractual constraints and competing policy and legislative priorities, an alternate exemplar should be investigated.

Beta development on Visas exemplar for Tier 2 visa extensions is now underway and will continue until April 2014.

Outside the exemplar programme the passport application online channel will be inviting all passport applications from 5 countries to be made digitally. Home Office plans to put the service live with the UK public early in 2014.

Progress during 2014

The Registered Traveller exemplar went live in December. It developed an improved customer form based on user’s needs and a new caseworking system, both of which received positive user feedback.

The Passports exemplar is more than halfway through the beta development phase. It focuses on photo resubmission, the application process and International Civil Aviation Organisation compliance checking.

The public beta of Visas was positively received, with 86% customer satisfaction. The UK-based Tier 2 visa extension service was extended into public beta in October, having run successfully for 6 months in private beta.

Planned activities in 2015

The Registered Traveller exemplar will be expanded to ports across the UK, enabling many more travellers to benefit from the service. The Passports exemplar is on track for public beta assessment in March. The Visas exemplar team are planning for their live service assessment in January.

Ministry of Defence

Departmental digital strategy commitments (December 2012)

Ministry of Defence (MOD) will report against the criteria as set out in the Digital Efficiency Report for those sub-organisations that offer in excess of 100,000 transactions; and implement change to processes that will facilitate the delivery of relevant information.

Progress during 2013

Work has been delayed until appointment of the Digital Transformation team.

Planned activities in 2014

The Service Personnel and Veterans Agency will be reporting against criteria for those transactions in excess of 100,000. A service manager will be appointed to support the redesign of new services for veterans when the Digital Transformation team is established.

Progress during 2014

MOD’s Defence Business Services created HR e-forms and introduced HR self-service for the department. The forms include help prompts and built-in data validation which has reduced errors and helped improve data quality. This project received an internal Digital Innovation award.

Planned activities in 2015

MOD will continue to redesign and digitise defence transactions and information.

Ministry of Justice

Redesign is starting in April 2013 and will be implemented by March 2015 (details to be included in relevant business plans). Following this, departments will redesign all services that handle more than 100,000 transactions each year.

Departmental digital strategy commitments (December 2012)

Ministry of Justice (MOJ) will deliver 4 exemplar digital services by March 2015:

  • prisoner visits booking
  • civil claims (money claims, possession claims)
  • fee payment (starting with employment tribunal fees)
  • digital transformation of the Office of the Public Guardian (starting with applications for Lasting power of attorney)

MOJ will digitally redesign all other services, prioritising those handling more than 100,000 transactions per year.

Progress during 2013

MOJ has made good progress on the exemplar programme, launching the first beta exemplar service across government with the Office of the Public Guardian’s lasting power of attorney tool. Fifteen of its services are being transformed, with 5 in discovery, 3 in alpha and 7 in public beta. Altogether these cover 4.5 million transactions and more than 12 million page views per year.

Planned activities in 2014

MOJ’s first services will transition from beta phase into fully live sites, and it will begin decommissioning legacy applications and infrastructure. The department will continue to create and develop exemplars in line with delivery plans, and will accelerate beta testing. It will have a range of new services in alpha and beta phases, and will establish a proportionate, effective support model for transformed services.

Progress during 2014

MOJ’s 4 exemplars are all live. It continued to carry out internal assessments on services and products handling fewer than 100,000 transactions each year, and on internal facing products to ensure they’re also produced to a high standard.

Planned activities in 2015

MOJ Digital Services will prioritise:

  • services supporting the digital justice system
  • the redesign and transformation of those services handling more than 100,000 transactions each year that offer the greatest value to users and the department