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Scottish Government launches



The Scottish Government has today launched its single portal for public services,, replacing its prototype and the Scottish Business Portal.

Writing in a blog last week, Rachel Dowle, the site’s head of content, explained: “Over the last 100 days, we’ve been finalising what’s needed to close the Scottish Business Portal and move the website’s content and tools on to” The team has upgraded the business site’s most popular tool, its business rates calculator, improving functionality on tablets and smartphones and providing links to relevant local authority web pages.

The team is to continue adding business information to the site, with Dowle explaining that “our next phase of work will focus on the experience of business users looking to export. This will allow us to further implement our content strategy which puts users before organisations and services, with a clear focus on journeys and tasks to develop our understanding of complex needs.”

The Scottish Government set out its plans to make public services “accessible through a single, though not exclusive, point of entry” in its National Digital Public Services Strategy and Action Plan, published in September 2012. This document explained the Government’s ambition to “adopt an approach of ‘digital first’ in service design; that means that organisations will deliver online everything that can be delivered online.”

However, the initial plan was to “work with partners to deliver in 2013 a single – but not exclusive – point of entry to all digital public services at national and local level.” In the event, the business case – published in March 2014, and promising savings of £4.5m per annum – explained that “Alpha, the first prototype of the website, was made available in summer 2014, followed by beta in December.  Throughout 2015 there will be regular releases of the website with feature enhancements and additional content.”

“Engagement to underpin all programme activity began in mid-2014, and engagement with specific organisations in winter 2014. This engagement and any subsequent transition activity will be on-going for a number of years.”

Pictured: | licensed under Open Government Licence v3.0

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