The Cabinet Office is spending a further £1.6m on a single government domain that has yet to be signed off by the government. A rough-around-the-edges test of the Alpha.gov.uk project ended last week, after the Cabinet Office injected an initial £261,000 into the test build website that is intended as a would-be successor to New …
And the rest of us pay a fiver.
Of course, the rest of us isn't the government. But this still sounds a tad clueless. There's a reason you have .gov.uk, which could be that "single domain" with everything goverment stuck under that. Why you wouldn't want to use that feature of the DNS is probably... incompetence and/or ignorance. The latter is the same thing for those deciding on what to do with the government internet presence.
I can see that not having lots of bureaucrats looking out the window any more than they already do because the internet befuddled them, but going at it from the presentation inwards looks a bit bass ackwards to me. Or an excuse to shell out more; someone's going to have a little party with all that money.
No matter how I look at it, it sounds like half-arsed failsauce waiting to go downhill in a hurry. Too bad good intentions alone don't get you there, not even halfway. Carry on government.
So what's wrong with the existing direct.gov website/system ?
Re: Dumb Question
What's reform without a good rebrand?
Direct.gov.uk is associated with Labour. That's what's wrong with it.
I don't associate it with Labour
and even so, there's nothing wrong with it.
And ignoring the petty reason for this new site, 1.6mil? Some overpriced company are laughing all the way to the bank, just like with that crappy crime location map.
...is a stupid domain name. As it's a site about the UK government, not about very early test versions of the UK government. it should be called gov.gov.uk or something.
These days "gov.co.uk" would be nearer the mark.
Or how about
Why the need for the co?
At the risk of stating the bleedin' obvious...
....I think he is implying that the government is more like a corporation these days (in its approach and underlying ethos)!!
That's the kind of handle most people would associate with UK governments of the past 30 years.
Stop being deliberately cynical
This is a move towards using agile techniques, with a team hired from across the industry (led by the ex- head of the Guardian's online operation) and staffed up with UX experts and people who know how to use Open Source software.
It's not a big systems integrator - it's a small team of permies, working directly to produce something better, and using modern techniques.
This is a GOOD thing.
"a team hired from across the industry"
Who were, of course, recruited totally transparently with all jobs advertised openly, and fair and honest interviews - rather than, let's say, a bunch of Martha Lane Fox's cronies recruiting a bunch of their own cronies quietly and without giving anyone else a chance to apply.
Wait, what's that you say?
... who are using open-source software to build a closed-source, and less scalable, version of off-the-shelf open-source software. The primary purpose of which is to take publishing control away from departments and give it to a new, closed-off National Web Service.
Work Request Forms all round, and more jobs for the boys and girls!
The only agility here are the contortions the Hoxtonians get into, patting themselves on the back for their massive hipster job creation scheme.
pork.co.uk for the large project tendering web service
"The Cabinet Office is spending a further £1.6m on a single government domain that has yet to be signed off by the government."
That's a bit pricey, I'm glad we don't share domain registrars!
Hilarious - can you spot the ones left by the Cabinet Office rather than the public?
Does that mean that the new site is going to be beta.gov.uk?
Will it eventually end up as 'final.gov.uk'?
Or release.gov.uk - which kind of gives us some hope ;-)
... how much!?
this reminds me of that scene in Independence Day where Bill Pullman queries the funding for Area 51...
President: I don't understand, where does all this come from? How do you get funding for something like this?
Julius: You don't actually think they spend $20,000 on a hammer, $30,000 on a toilet seat, do you?
... apparently our goverment does.
I guess £1.6m is cheap considering the £35m the Government wasted last time they tried to build a unified platform - DotP. And the nomenclature (alpha.gov, beta.gov, ... omega.gov, armageddon.gov, etc) is surely less tempting to fate than Delivering on the Promise. However, the lead on this project is (worryingly) Tom Loosemore - as in loose (sic) more money.
Would it be too much to ask that they move to a name that starts from the customers' perspective, as I advised the Cabinet Office five years ago...
Would it be too much to ask of them that they listen and consider what others are doing? Like the USA NSTIC programme for an open eID scheme that helps us in all transactions, rather than a closed scheme that creates a new ID database for public sector use only.