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GDS launches GOV.UK Notify platform



Private beta of new digital platform set for student loans, power of attorney, voter registration and use of the Digital Marketplace

The Government Digital Service (GDS) has unveiled its new digital platform for central government services with the release of a private beta version of GOV.UK Notify.

It provides a mechanism for a government body to provide automatic updates and reminders to members of the public for services.

This is the second in the planned series of reusable platforms set to emerge from GDS for public-facing services, following the launch in May of GOV.UK Verify for online identity assurance.

Announcing the launch, parent department the Cabinet Office said that Notify will initially be used in issuing updates on student loans, lasting power of attorney, passports, voter registration and – from small and medium sized businesses – the Digital Marketplace.

It added that a further 70 service areas from across government are now looking to use the platform.

Easy use

Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General Ben Gummer, said: “Whether you are a parent applying for a passport, a student checking your finances, or a business owner seeking to work on government contracts, we want to make it as easy as possible for you.

“In GOV.UK Notify, we have developed an impressive, cost-saving product that can be used across any government department for lots of different services - making it easier for the public to interact with government and keep track of their applications and requests.”

The Cabinet Office said that Notify will provide a time saving measure, saving people from having to call for updates, and a money saver. Notifications can be sent by email for free, by text message for less than 2p each, compared with up to £12 to process a telephone call.

Next stage

Notify marks the next stage in the Government as a Platform programme, in which GDS is developing digital services to be adapted for use in a range of public services.

The development of the new platform has been subject to changes along the way. Initially GDS began to work on a status tracking platform, but this was dropped after discovery work led to a decision that notifications would meet most public needs.

Then the launch of the new service was delayed from the original February date for unspecified reasons. It is also notable that the MOT service, which was flagged up at the beginning of the year as one of those likely to be among the first to use it, is not in the group highlighted by the Cabinet Office.

GDS has previously indicated that an online payments platform is likely to be next.

Image from Cabinet Office

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