Where should America turn for advice? Not GDS. Not if it's the truth you're after
She show the audience a table showing the cost and reach of the new GOV.UK website which replaced the old Direct.gov.uk (as well as numerous other services run by different government departments).
That seems like as good a place to start as any.
Miss McCarthy has been misled. So has Miss Pahlka. Certainly it says on https://www.gov.uk that "this website replaces Directgov and Business Link". But that's not true. It didn't replace these two websites two years ago when GOV.UK was launched and it still hasn't today.
It's safe to try this at home.
Start at GOV.UK, search for "jobseekers allowance", click on "claim Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) online" and you're taken straight to Directgov. Ditto if you try to log in to "universal jobmatch". Or try applying for a provisional driving licence.
Directgov is still there and so is Business Link. Search for "contracts finder" on GOV.UK, click on "start now" and you'll find yourself on https://online.contractsfinder.businesslink.gov.uk/.
GOV.UK "replaces Directgov and Business Link"? That is just one claim made by GDS, the UK's Government Digital Service, which is not to be trusted.
The same goes for GDS's claim that digital transformation has saved £10 billion or 4% of the UK gross domestic product. £10 billion is only 0.6% of UK GDP. Most money has been saved by laying off staff or negotiating better prices from suppliers. The saving attributed to GDS is only 0.0138% of UK GDP.
That 4% claim was made by GDS at Ms Pahlka's Code for America Summit 2013. She was misled. And now she has misled Ms McCarthy, no doubt inadvertently. And now Ms McCarthy is misleading her readers.
But before this falsehood is passed on into folklore as an unquestioned truth, let's nip it in the bud, shall we.
And let's try to correct the impression anyone at the CfA Summit might have got that GDS was already operating an identity assurance scheme (IDA) for 45 million Brits. It wasn't then and it still isn't.
IDA has already taken longer to develop than the much-maligned US Healthcare system and, despite all the fashionable agile development methodologies being used, it still doesn't exist.