Articles about Government Services


Hard-up Brits 'should get subsidy for 10Mbps'

Folks in the UK unable to afford speeds of 10Mbps under the Universal Service Obligation (USO) should be offered a subsidy, the representative body for 370 councils has said today. The Local Government Association is calling on the government to introduce a subsidised broadband service to help anyone facing undue hardship in …
Kat Hall, 20 Oct 2016

Citizens don't trust UK.GOV with their data

UK citizens have little faith in the government's ability to securely handle their private data - according to a wide-ranging survey which echoes findings by the National Audit Office. Just 22 per cent believed that the government has appropriate means to stop cyber-attacks and identity breaches, according to 1,500 citizens …
Kat Hall, 06 Oct 2016
Cut cable

Brave telco giants kill threat of decent internet service in rural North Carolina

A rural community in North Carolina says it will have to pull the plug on its broadband service over fears it will no longer be protected by the FCC. The city council in Wilson, North Carolina has voted to disconnect local broadband service in the nearby community of Pinetops following the 6th Circuit Court's ruling that the …
Shaun Nichols, 16 Sep 2016
Man in helmet looks uncertain, holds up shield. Photo by Shutterstock

National Cyber Security Centre to shift UK to 'active' defence

The head of the UK’s new National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has detailed plans to move the UK to "active cyber-defence", to better protect government networks and improve the UK’s overall security. The strategy update by NCSC chief exec Ciaran Martin comes just weeks before the new centre is due to open next month and days …
John Leyden, 16 Sep 2016
China will see you on the dark side of the moon

China gets the e-Gov love bug

China has got the e-government bug, signalling its intention to put lots of government services online by the year 2020. China's State Council yesterday signed off on a plan to extend its Internet Plus initiative into the public sector. Premier Li Keqiang himself backed the plan, with an English—language statement quoting him …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Sep 2016

When Irish eyes are filing: Ireland to appeal Europe's $15bn Apple tax claw-back

The Irish government formally decided to appeal the European Commission's $14.5 billion back-tax demand on Friday. "There are some very important principles at stake in this case," said the country's finance minister Michael Noonan. "A robust legal challenge before the courts is essential to defend Ireland's interests." "The …
Kieren McCarthy, 02 Sep 2016

Robot babies fail in role as teenage sex deterrents

Robot babies have been found to be an ineffective educational tool for those hoping to prevent teenaged pregnancies. “Infant simulators”, to give the robo-babies their proper name, are anatomically correct dolls that require burping, feeding, rocking to sleep and produce Code Brown and Code Yellow alerts in their pants. The …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Aug 2016
Dr Strangelove bomb

#Censusfail Australia: Not an attack, data safe, no heads to roll

“This was not an attack, nor was it a hack”: that's the official government position on the collapse of last night's Australian online Census systems, attributed to a denial-of-service attack. The chief statistician David Kalisch, the small business minister Michael McCormack and the government's infosec spokesperson Alexander …

Canadian govt to cloud providers: Want our business? Stay local, eh

The government of Canada has laid out a cloud computing strategy that could bring more data center facilities to the Great White North. The administration's Cloud Adoption Strategy calls for a provision that all sensitive government information be housed within the country. "Departments and agencies will follow a 'Right Cloud …
Shaun Nichols, 05 Aug 2016
editorial only image of Whitehall. Pic Daniel Gale/Shutterstock

Mind the GaaP: needs to get a grip on digital

Analysis The UK government’s digital strategy is among the many things Brexit has put a lit match to, and, amid the current EU exit plan bunfighting, it’s unlikely to top any “Right, what the hell do we do now?” lists. Faced with the fallout from Brexit on IT systems, Whitehall technocrats will no doubt want to erect – or dust off – an …
Kat Hall, 05 Jul 2016
Uncle Sam's money

Want $50bn from Uncle Sam? Put in a bid on these IT contracts

The US government's General Services Administration (GSA) has opened bidding on what it says will be a $50bn IT services contract package. The federal agency is now accepting applications for the Alliant 2 and Alliant 2 Small Business contracts to create what it describes as a "large, diverse pool of industry partners." The …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Jun 2016
Plug, image via Shutterstock

Gov to pull plug on online ID verification portal Gateway in 2018

A date has been set to formally decommission the government's online identity Gateway portal by 2018 - a move that raises serious questions as to whether the Verify replacement will provide a fit for purpose alternative. The deal to pull the plug on Gateway - which is most importantly used for self-assessment tax users - has …
Kat Hall, 13 May 2016
 Putting text-reading robots to work. Arthur_Caranta, CC BY-SA

White House to bring us up to speed on artificial intelligence hype latest

The Obama administration says it wants everyone to take a closer look at artificial intelligence with a series of public discussions. The workshops will examine if AI will suck jobs out of the economy or add to it, how such systems can be controlled legally and technically, and whether or not such smarter computers can be used …
Shaun Nichols, 04 May 2016
whitehall road in London. <a href="">Albert Pego</a> / <a href=""></a>

UK's GDS to hire 300 folk. Silver lining: They'll be evicted from Holborn

The UK Government Digital Service (GDS) is to hire nearly 300 more staff, beefing up its full-time employees to 830, according to sources. As such, the body is planning to move from Aviation House in Holborn, London, where it has been based since its formation in 2011. Apparently that office is no longer big enough. Insiders …
Kat Hall, 29 Apr 2016
South Park's Underpants Gnomes

GDS has no real strategy for £450m budget pot, internal plan reveals

Exclusive Concerns are mounting that the Government Digital Service has no real plan for spending its £450m budget - following a leaked strategy document obtained by The Register. In November GDS was awarded the additional funding in the Spending Review to digitally transform Whitehall over this Parliament. Its previous annual budget …
Kat Hall, 08 Apr 2016
Gov AU alpha applied to website

Australia, here's your re-re-re-invented national web page

Australia's Digital Transformation Office (DTO) has revealed the design it hopes will eventually be used on all Australian government web sites. The DTO's head Paul Shetler today revealed the site at a function in Sydney, explaining it is designed to remove the need for citizens to know anything about the machinery of …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Mar 2016

India to educate 60 million more village homes about tech

India this week outlined a plan to conduct digital literacy training for an additional 60 million rural households. The world's most-populous nation announced its 2016/17 budget earlier this week and among the many promises was one that all villages will be electrified by may 2018. That promise reflects India's prioritisation …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Mar 2016

DWP building a separate ID tool as Verify can’t cut it, whisper sources

The Department for Work and Pensions looks to be developing its own version of an online identity tool intended as a way to ensure a secure transaction with government services, according to several sources. The current mechanism for online identification while securing benefits and tax credits is the Government Gateway, which …
Kat Hall, 14 Jan 2016

Australian government urges holidaymakers to kill two-factor auth

The Australian government is urging its citizens to turn off two-factor authentication while abroad. The official Twitter account for myGov – a portal for accessing government services online – told Aussies this week: "Going overseas this summer? If you're registered for myGov security codes make sure you turn them off before …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 Dec 2015

CSC beats off Capita, snaps up Xchanging for £480m

Computer Sciences Corporation is to snap up business processing outfit Xchanging for £480m, having beaten off its rival suitor Capita. The move appears to be part of plans to split CSC into two publicly traded companies: one for commercial and government clients globally and one to serve public sector clients in the US. Mike …
Kat Hall, 09 Dec 2015
Banksy protester image 1000 words via Shutterstock

Open source Gov.UK is 'example of UK soft power'

El Reg joined 13,000 registrants to attend the first day of HPE Discover at the ExCel centre in London's Docklands and what a huge affair it is. We have already covered the first big news announcement (on "composable infrastructure") and in this article we zoom in on the keynote delivered to a packed auditorium by CEO Megan …
Drew Cullen, 01 Dec 2015
George Osborne, photo: HM Treasury

Spending Review: GDS gets £450m, Cabinet Office budget slashed

In a shock announcement, Chancellor George Osborne has today pledged £450m in extra funding to the Government Digital Service. The news follows the recent mass departure of GDS top brass, including Mike Bracken, amid rumours the body would be slashed. GDS's current annual budget is £58m per year. The £450m bonanza will be …
Kat Hall, 25 Nov 2015

CSC, NetCracker IT staff worked on US military telecoms 'without govt security clearance'

The US Department of Justice (DoJ) has extracted $12m (£7.78m) from contractors accused of using workers who had not been given proper security clearances before performing government IT work. The DoJ said Netcracker Technology Corp would pay $11.4m and Computer Sciences Corp (CSC) would shell out $1.35m to settle allegations …
Shaun Nichols, 02 Nov 2015
The Mosque at the Taj Mahal, shot from within the Taj Mahal through the marble screens

Microsoft flicks switch for three Azure bit barns in India

Microsoft's Azure cloud services have a new region: India. The House That Gates Built now has functioning bit barns in the central Indian city of Pune, Chennai and Mumbai. As of today, the three bit barns are open for Azure business. Later in October Office 365 will start to operate from India and in the first half of 2016 …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Oct 2015

Oakland mayor fires warning letter to Uber: Welcome to our city. Now behave

The Mayor of Oakland in California has warned taxi-ordering app Uber that it needs to behave when it moves into a new office complex in the heart of the city's downtown. In her keynote at the Code for America Summit Wednesday morning, Libby Schaaf noted that the city of Oakland has "mad love for disruptors," but told attendees …
Kieren McCarthy, 30 Sep 2015
Shaun of the Dead

'I may be winning this ad-blocker game, but I hate it. I'm outta here (with $100k). Buh-bye'

QuoTW We do hope you've enjoyed this week of botched Apple updates, unlikely Linux lovers and surprise birthday gifts. Here are our favourite quotes. Bitcoin backers have had a long and contentious relationship with sovereign states, and this week they got some unwanted recognition from the US. The Commodity Futures Trading …
Team Register, 20 Sep 2015
Broken CD with wrench

EU spaffs €131m on making gov digi services 'talk' to each other

Sick of filling out online forms in triplicate for basic government services? So are EU officials. The EU is to spend €131m to make eGovernment services in different countries “talk” to each other. Ministers from member states, led by the Luxembourg presidency, and MEPs on Wednesday agreed to extend funding to the ISA² ( …
Jennifer Baker, 18 Sep 2015

CSC beefs up public sector biz with $390m merger deal

Soon-to-be split CSC is merging its government services biz with US public sector IT outfit SRA for $390m (£254m). The acquisition will add around $1.4bn (£911m) in revenue and 5,000 staff to CSC's public-sector outfit, creating combined annual sales of $5.5bn (£3.6bn) and a workforce of nearly 19,000 employees. Mike Lawrie, …
Kat Hall, 01 Sep 2015
Turnbull's twitter feed by

Australia's marriage equality vote should take place online

Australia's government has all-but-decided the nation should go to a plebiscite to decide whether local marriage laws should be altered to permit same-sex marriage. That vote should take place online. For those who oppose the plebiscite, or alterations to the Marriage Act, an online vote could be palatable as be cheaper and …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Aug 2015
Google provides great mobile coverage for Yetis

Sri Lanka braves monsoon with Loon broadband balloons

Service to launch just weeks before monsoon hits, complete with rain and wind a-plenty Sri Lanka has signed up for broadband services delivered by Google's “Project Loon” broadband balloons. The Indian ocean nation's minister for foreign affairs, telecommunications and IT Mangala Samaraweera this week took to the stage …
Simon Sharwood, 31 Jul 2015
Parliament House Canberra by Flickr user OzMark17 used under CC Share and Share alike licence

Turnbull's transformers plan business access to YOUR GOV ID DATA

Australia's new Digital Transformation Office (DTO), the digital disruption brainchild of communications minister Malcolm Turnbull, has outlined plans for an ambitious new government-led digital identification plan that will meld government and business data on individuals to create a single digital ID. The plan's emerged in …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Jul 2015
Paul Shetler, CEO, DTO Australia

Digital Transformation Office CEO's record reveals project wobbles

Australia's Department of Communications on Thursday announced the appointment of Paul Shetler as Chief Executive Officer for the Digital Transformation Office (DTO), communications minister Malcolm Turnbull's effort to digitise government services. But an examination of his recent work suggests that one of the major projects he …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Jul 2015
Crypto fingers

Oi,, your Verify system looks like a MASS SPY NETWORK

Government “identity assurance” programme Verify contains "severe privacy and security problems" including a major architecture flaw that could lead to "mass surveillance" – according to an academic paper. Verify was created by the Government Digital Service (GDS) to underpin the online identification of users performing …
Kat Hall, 22 Jun 2015

Wikileaks publishes TiSA: A secret trade pact between US, Europe and others for big biz pals

Fresh from offering $100,000 to anyone that leaks the still-secret parts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Wikileaks has published large chunks of the related Trade In Services Agreement (TiSA). TiSA is one of a triumvirate of trade treaties being negotiated across the world, except this one does not include the so- …
Kieren McCarthy, 04 Jun 2015
Interim logo for Digital Transformation Office

Turnbull's Digital Transformers discover log files contain more than meets the eye

Hey government agencies, there's more than meets the eye in your data Malcolm Turnbull's legacy-hunting Digital Transformation Office (DTO) has discovered analytics. The Office's latest blogged emanation explains that “The DTO's mission is to create digital services that are easy to find and use. Service analytics will give us …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Jun 2015

Death-to-passwords FIDO Alliance finds a friend at DOCOMO

Japanese users will be able to log in and make online purchases using iris recognition biometrics after telco giant DOCOMO begins shipping Fujitsu ARROWS phones. The telco's 65 million users will be able to use the biometric verification on the ARROWS F-04G said to be the world's first iris snapper. Fingerprint biometric login …
Darren Pauli, 27 May 2015
Interim logo for Digital Transformation Office

Turnbull's digital transformation office DOES SOMETHING

Earlier today, your correspondent bemoaned the fact that Australia's nascent Digital Transformation Office (DTO) was announced ten weeks ago but appears to have done little in that time other than advertise for a leader. Fast-forward to around 15:00 Australian time and the agency has revealed that it has, indeed, done …
Simon Sharwood, 07 Apr 2015
Malcolm Turnbull from ITU pictures flickr feed

Job ad appears for CEO of Turnbull's digital transformation office

Australia's Department of Communications has advertised for a chief executive officer of the nascent Digital Transformation Office (DTO). Applicants are expected to possess a “Strong track record of delivering transformational change in a customer-focussed, high volume and transactional environment using digital technology”, …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Apr 2015
Downing Street road sign

More suppliers join flagging GOV.UK Verify ID assurance scheme

In an attempt to inject some life into its ailing GOV.UK Verify identity assurance scheme, the government has today broadened the range of suppliers on the programme's framework. The scheme is intended to act as an identity assurance "marketplace", allowing users to choose from a range of identity providers to authenticate …
Kat Hall, 25 Mar 2015
Malcolm Turnbull

Turnbull's Digital Transformation Office already missing deadlines

On January 23rd, Australia's prime minister Tony Abbott and communications minister Malcolm Turnbull announced a Digital Transformation Office (DTO) modelled on the UK's Government Digital Service (GDS) and charged with taking government services online. As we noted at the time the office had no budget and no plan, but …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Mar 2015
Parliament House Canberra by Flickr user OzMark17 used under CC Share and Share alike licence

Turnbull's model e-gov service is HIPSTER SHAMBLES

Australia's communications minister Malcolm Turnbull has often expressed his admiration for the United Kingdom's Government Digital Service (GDS), going so far to say as to say it is the model and/or inspiration for the recently-revealed Digital Transformation Office (DTO). As we've reported, the DTO looks to be off to a shaky …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Mar 2015
New homepage of, credit screengrab

Inside GOV.UK: 'CHAOS' and 'NIGHTMARE' as trendy Cabinet Office wrecked govt websites

Exclusive Poor design and chaotic management by the supposedly crack team at the Cabinet Office's Government Digital Service (GDS) left huge swathes of the British government in disarray, internal documents seen by the Register reveal. The documents confirm that GDS knew its flagship initiative to move all government websites under one …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 Feb 2015
The farmers persuade the bull into a pen can't get farmers onto its Verify service – even to claim subsidies

Significantly fewer farmers are registering online for the Common Agricultural Policy payments scheme than last year, despite government plans to create an online-only exemplar digital service, Freedom of Information numbers reveal. As of 10 February, just 1,300 farmers have so far registered online with the Rural Payments …
Kat Hall, 16 Feb 2015

Hey biz – cut fraud with digital ID verification. Yes, like Verify – Maude

Building identity (ID) assurance systems into "customer registration processes" could help businesses cut the cost of fraud, a UK government minister has said. Francis Maude said the Cabinet Office is working with "like-minded organisations" to look into the potential for ID assurance services to be used more extensively in …
OUT-LAW.COM, 06 Feb 2015
Jersey cow

Get internet access to those POOR country bumpkins, says

Rural areas are at risk of being unable to access online-only government services thanks to poor internet connectivity, a Parliamentary report said today. Anne McIntosh MP, chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, said the current broadband target of reaching 95 per cent of premises with 24 Mbps by 2017 may …
Kat Hall, 03 Feb 2015
Parliament House Canberra by Flickr user OzMark17 used under CC Share and Share alike licence

Turnbull's Digital Transformation Office has NO PLAN, but awesome power

Malcolm Turnbull's new Digital Transformation Office (DTO), launched last week with a goal of reinventing government service delivery but lacking any new money with which to make the attempt, also has no plan for its efforts. It does, however, have an FAQ on Turnbull's own site, explaining that the new agency will “will be …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Jan 2015
Parliament House Canberra by Flickr user OzMark17 used under CC Share and Share alike licence

Australia to launch Digital Transformation Office, with no budget

Australia will launch a Digital Transformation Office (DTO) within the Department of Communications “so that government services can be delivered digitally from start to finish and better serve the needs of citizens and businesses.” The new agency will aim to “... use technology to make services simpler, clearer and faster for …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Jan 2015
Downing Street road sign

Must diarise: Verify ID system will 'definitely' work by 2016

The government insists it will meet its 2016 deadline for all digital services to be underpinned by its gaffe-prone identity assurance system, GOV.UK Verify – despite having failed to move off the increasingly vulnerable Gateway system. By March 2016 the Government Digital Service intends all departments to have integrated …
Kat Hall, 09 Dec 2014

Whitehall at war: Govt’s webocrats trash vital digital VAT site

Special Report Open warfare has broken out in Whitehall after the Government’s own much-hyped in-house IT team, GDS, publicly trashed a new VAT service vital to small digital businesses. The Register understands the service works well - but didn’t use GDS and was failed for meeting its taste guidelines. This week the Government Digital …
Andrew Orlowski, 05 Dec 2014
Fail whale

'Identity skills shortage' will be problematic for Verify ID. (So not the TECH FAILS, then?)

Departments must "work closely" with the Government Digital Service to ensure the ambitious pan-Whitehall identity assurance target of 2016 can be met, The National Audit Office has said. This is despite the fact the Verify identity assurance tool has so far had a shaky start. Last month a beta test of the tool drew many …
Kat Hall, 04 Dec 2014