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GDS plans February launch for GOV.UK Notify

07/01/16

MOT and power of attorney services expected to be the first in using notification platform as it moves to beta phase

The Government Digital Service (GDS) has pushed its notification platform into its beta phase, with plans to make it available for early use in services for obtaining a vehicle's MOT and applying for a lasting power of attorney.

Smartphone_useIt has named the platform GOV.UK Notify and plans to send the first text messages, emails and letters from late February or early March, with a view to opening it up to all of government during the summer.

The plans are outlined in a Government as a Platform team blogpost by product manager Peter Herlihy, who says that government bodies using the service will have two routes: integrating their web applications or back office systems with the platform; or using the GDS-built interface to upload batches of messages.

Each organisation using the platform will receive an allowance within which it can do so freely. Herlihy says the Notify team hopes many services will not need more than this, but that it is working out allowances and rates and will provide a transparent model for the costs.

Sign up access

Anyone with a gov.uk email address will be able to sign up to access the application programme interface keys, to play with the system / build templates and start sending messages for test - before your service could go live, however, GDS will run checks. There are also plans to provide integration libraries in various progamming languages.

The platform will use a number of SMS, email and post providers whose services will be procured by GDS.

GDS decided to focus on the Notify programme rather than a status tracking platform in October, after a discovery phase of work on the latter led it back to its original thinking that well timed, proactive notifications from services to the public would meet most of their needs.

It was also decided that that status tracking tools do not remove the anxiety around a service as anyone wanting to use one will already be anxious.

The move also marks the latest step forward in the Government as a Platform programme, with the relatively quick delivery of a service for widespread re-use through central government. GDS is also prioritising work on a payments platform.

Image from GOV.UK, Public Domain Dedication

 

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