Guidance

GOV.UK proposition

Published 17 June 2014

The GOV.UK proposition is currently in Alpha.

GOV.UK is designed to meet the needs that UK citizens and residents have of government. It also caters for the needs of foreign nationals looking to visit, live or do business in the UK and anyone looking for information about the work of the UK government.

It’s been built to make interacting with government as easy as possible. It’s constantly being updated and improved to meet user needs. GOV.UK is for services, information and guidance that only government can provide.

This document is designed to help people in departments and agencies who need to publish information or services for the public to use. It helps people to decide if part or all of their planned publishing should be on GOV.UK or not.

What goes on GOV.UK

Something will go on GOV.UK if it has a clear user need backed up with evidence and meets at least 1 of the following criteria.

1. Government services

It’s something people need to do and can only be done with government, for example:

  • renewing a car tax disc
  • finding out how to pay your council tax
  • applying for a patent
  • seeing if you need a visa to visit another country

2. Policy and involving people

It helps government be transparent, engage with people, clearly explain policies and fulfil legal obligations to the public, for example:

  • departments blogging as a way of involving people in thinking about what government does
  • information about government spending and department management
  • explaining policies and government activity

3. Responding to major events

It shows what government is doing about issues and incidents that have direct impact on people’s lives or have significant public interest, for example:

  • government response to the 2014 floods
  • UK aid following Typhoon Haiyan

4. Helping you follow the law

It helps people and businesses meet their obligations to government, for example:

  • filing company accounts and tax returns
  • laws about consulting with employees about workplace issues
  • explaining the import duty payable on specific types of items
  • completing a Self Assessment tax return

5. Official information

It provides information only government has, for example:

  • current risks when travelling to another country
  • if a small business has to register for VAT
  • pension options for retirement planning

6. Policies and regulations

It allows professionals and specialists to find time-sensitive, relevant policies and regulations, for example:

  • updated policies on foreign nationals’ benefits for use by local authority officers
  • the level of taxation at a specific past date, for tax advisers to give their clients accurate guidance

7. Support schemes

It helps people find and access government-funded support schemes, for example:

  • grants for financing commercial exports
  • rent subsidies for university students
  • eligibility for affordable home ownership schemes

8. Raising awareness

It supports government campaigns that raise awareness about important issues, for example:

  • branded landing pages for Self Assessment reminders, business Start Up Loans information or student finance information
  • promoting organ donation on the ‘transaction done’ page of the car tax disc renewal service

What doesn’t go on GOV.UK

It won’t go on GOV.UK if it’s:

  • general advice for people, businesses or specialists
  • advertising for commercial purposes
  • intranet or workflow services exclusively for civil servants
  • professional training or qualifications
  • information or services that can be better supplied by organisations outside government
  • legislation that’s on www.legislation.gov.uk
  • sites and agencies exempt from transition to GOV.UK
  • organisations and companies, like mutuals, that aren’t publicly owned
  • content only relevant to users in devolved parts of the UK (Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland)