Gov Gateway upgrade allows for growth
Room for more traffic and online services
The roll out of a new version of the Government Gateway will allow for increased traffic and more e-enabled public services.
A partnership comprising the Cabinet Office e-Delivery Team, Atos Origin, and Microsoft have launched Version 2.0 of the Government Gateway.
Called enGage, the partnership has upgraded the Gateway to cater for access to an increased range of electronically delivered public services. Announcing the launch, Atos Origin described the project as the "biggest and most important application release" since the Gateway first went live in 2001.
With over 11 million users, the Gateway provides 125 secure e-enables services across 12 central government departments, 14 government agencies, and 35 local authorities. It also enables the public to communicate and undertake transactions with government, such as making tax returns or pensions forecasting.
There is also a new white label user interface for government departments who want to retain their own branding. A spokesperson for Atos Origin told GC News: "Say you're a council and you don't want to show that (the service) is coming through the Gateway, you can design it so it will look as if it is coming through the council. It helps in making sure people know who they're liaising with."
Work has also been carried out to improve performance and reliability.
Cabinet Office e-Delivery Team director Chris Haynes claimed the Gateway had become a linchpin in the delivery of public sector e-services.
"We have achieved this by focusing on the quality of the service provided to our customers, while keeping up with ever-changing requirements to ensure the Gateway is well positioned for the future and continues to be at the heart of the Transformational Government agenda," he said.
This article was originally published at Kablenet.
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This will almost certainly fail
Atos is not a bad company, but the Microsoft involvement is a concern because it's thus unlikely the Gateway will be really enabling Open Standards, thus disenfranchising an ever growing part of the population (let's call them the Vista rejects).
The Government Secure intranet (GSi) is now over 10 years old, and that has worked from the day it went into pilot. Why? Because it was based on Open Standards. Ever since its inception, however, it's been a battle to keep core services that way because the moment a proprietary vendor gets its claws in this it amounts to giving them a blank cheque. So a huge battle followed where the then CCTA formally opted for Open Standards, only to be completely ignored because ex Government people now worked for Microsoft and convinced their buddies it would all be OK (logically, that's why they get the job at MS in the first place).
Well, I presume the vast number of failed Government projects hasn't been educational enough. I hope Atos can work past the problems they'll inherit by using lock in strategies.