New Australian government website passes first digital assessment, led by British civil servants

By on 15/02/2016
The panel conducts the assessment from the UK with the GOV.AU team in Sydney over Google Hangouts

A new Australian government website, which will be structured around users needs rather than just departmental structures, has passed its first digital assessment carried out by a team of UK civil servants.

Australia’s Digital Transformation Office (DTO) has been working on the prototype for gov.au and asked officials from the UK’s Government Digital Service (GDS) to assess whether it meets three primary criteria in the Australian Digital Service Standard.

The GDS-led panel, which also included one Australian assessor, reported that the DTO team passed all three Alpha criteria of user needs, the team and development, which means the DTO now has permission to work to develop the site further so it can eventually be published in Beta form.

Read more: Interview: Mike Bracken, former head of the Government Digital Service (GDS)

The panel, led by GDS product manager Tom Scott, concluded that “the gov.au team demonstrated a deep understanding of user needs, established a broad multi-disciplinary team and developed an Alpha prototype based on the DTO’s service design and delivery process.”

The assessment report states that “the scale of work and short timeframe to complete it were ambitious for a project of this scale and importance,” adding that “the team has delivered an exciting prototype that will take time and considerable effort to deliver as a live service.”

It also says that “some more work will be needed to bring in other government organisations [which] may involve taking time to develop the content and designs of how to present those organisations appropriately for the beta.”

Read more: New citizenship online booking system in Australia passes digital service standard assessment

Scott wrote that “this important work will help to improve the lives of people in Australia; my hope is we are able to learn from what you are doing and incorporate this into gov.uk as well.”

DTO official Jacqui van Teulingen wrote in a government blog on Friday that “this feedback confirms gov.au is on its way to delivering a service that will make it quicker and easier for Australians to find what they need.”

She added: “This is also a milestone for the DTO, with the gov.au team being the first in the organisation to be assessed against the Digital Service Standard.

“Importantly, this is just the beginning of the journey, and the Alpha assessment report provides valuable feedback and recommendations on things we need to consider as we move into the Beta stage.”

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See also:

Estonia doubles e-Residency fee to cope with growing demand

Australia Updates Its Cybersecurity 

About Winnie Agbonlahor

Winnie is news editor of Global Government Forum. She previously reported for Civil Service World - the trade magazine for senior UK government officials. Originally from Germany, Winnie first came to the UK in 2006 to study a BA in Journalism & Russian at the University of Sheffield. She is bilingual in English and German, and, after spending an academic year abroad in Russia and reporting for the Moscow Times, Winnie also speaks Russian fluently.

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