Government Digital Service calls on local government input for user needs

Mike Bracken at Socitm 2013Head of the Government Digital Service (GDS) Mike Bracken has called on the Society for IT Management (Socitm) to be more closely involved in his team's work to design government digital services around user needs.

During his keynote presentation at Socitm's annual conference in London yesterday, Bracken said that 50% of online transactions made through GOV.UK, Government's GDS-designed 'super site', are made locally.

He called on Socitm to meet each quarter to discuss local government needs in work to make better digital services for citizens and businesses against heavy budget cuts. Socitm President Steve Halliday welcomed the proposal enthusiastically.

"If we don't deliver what users need, they'll route around us", Bracken told the mainly local government audience. "We're not here to change government websites we're here to change government. If we can't be one government we'll really struggle. We're all in this together".

But Bracken admitted he had not always considered the professional association as a source of guidance. "When I came to the job, I didn't think Socitm would be a good place to engage. The work you do has proven me wrong", he said.