Feeds

Government Gateway gets first local recruit

Shepway goes live

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top three mobile application threats

Residents of South Kent can now pay their council tax online, as Shepway District Council switched on its connection to the Government Gateway. The local authority, which this week announced the UK's biggest council tax increase this year, is the first in the UK to make its services available through the Gateway.

Rather than build its own connection, Shepway has opted for the Departmental Interface Server (DIS), an off-the-peg package developed by Sun Microsystems and Software AG. DIS was developed over the last two years, in collaboration with the office of the e-envoy and was given governmental approval in October last year. Shepway had it installed and running for tests a few days later.

Charles Andrews, Sun's public sector sales director, said the DIS package is an alternative to the large outsourcing deals that have characterised government IT contracts. It is also a simpler option than going it alone, he said.

"Looking at local authorities' attempts to connect to the Gateway, there have been several well documented challenges. Connecting to the Gateway as a local authority is hard enough, and it is even more difficult to sustain that connection over the long term," he said.

Tim Holyoake, Software AG's e-government consultant, said the" Microsoft bag of bits" approach had been tried by the public sector, but it was too complex, and the management costs too unpredictable. "No one in government is happy with only having one option," he said.

"The DIS does away with the need for the local authority to pull its own solution together from a variety of sources. In addition, having one point of contact for support means that the maintenance costs are known, and can be budgeted for."

The e-payments system is the first of a range of services the council plans to make available to residents over the next 18 months.

The Welland region's consortium of five local councils in the East Midlands will soon be connected to the Gateway, too. They will use DIS to provide user authentication so residents can check the their account status without having to call their council.

It remains to be seen of all the bugs really have been ironed out, and if the management of the system is as smooth as claimed. Sun and Software AG must be causing a few wrinkled foreheads at Microsoft, despite claiming not to care about their competition.

More than 100 other government organisations have signed up to attend the formal launch of DIS next week, and the two companies hint that central government contracts are on the horizon. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Kingston DataTraveler MicroDuo: Turn your phone into a 72GB beast
USB-usiness in the front, micro-USB party in the back
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Inside the Hekaton: SQL Server 2014's database engine deconstructed
Nadella's database sqares the circle of cheap memory vs speed
BOFH: Oh DO tell us what you think. *CLICK*
$%%&amp Oh dear, we've been cut *CLICK* Well hello *CLICK* You're breaking up...
Just what could be inside Dropbox's new 'Home For Life'?
Biz apps, messaging, photos, email, more storage – sorry, did you think there would be cake?
AMD's 'Seattle' 64-bit ARM server chips now sampling, set to launch in late 2014
But they won't appear in SeaMicro Fabric Compute Systems anytime soon
Amazon reveals its Google-killing 'R3' server instances
A mega-memory instance that never forgets
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.