Inside Government is the latest addition to www.gov.uk, a website that is testing the future of how Government information and transactions will be delivered online.
As well as delivering transactions online; better and more efficiently, gov.uk also aims to consolidate existing Government websites. Anyone should be able to find out about policies and the working of Government, and get involved in consultations, without having to know which department is responsible for the areas they are interested in.
This is where Inside Government comes in. Anyone can visit this part of the Beta site and find out the latest news, policies and publications from a handful of early adopter departments. There is also basic information about every other Government department too.
This is no copy and paste job. Content is added according to gov.uk principles about language.
For me, this is the biggest story behind the gov.uk project so far. Translating the cautious, corporate language of Government into clear English, and mapping content against a department’s business plan is, as far as I can tell, entirely new.
Colleagues at the Government Digital Service have described the approach as ‘shining a light’ on activities across Whitehall and, in my experience, the Beta is already producing a bright beam.
Take a look at the way policy content is broken down in to simple sections such as ‘issue’ ‘actions’ and, most importantly, ‘impact’, in simple language too.
Like the rest of gov.uk, Inside Government is putting users (taxpayers like you and me) first and approaching the task of presenting policy with refreshing simplicity.
This project is presenting some interesting challenges for managers like me, with teams who are already handling huge volumes of corporate content. There is also a certain amount of shock and head scratching among colleagues in other parts of the department, for whom their website may have been traditionally viewed as a basic publishing channel.
Gov.uk is far more than a website. It represents a fundamental shift in the way civil servants right across the public sector will think about the presentation of their work in the future.