The new service was first created in August 2011 following UK Digital Champion Martha Lane Fox's review of the government digital estate and brings together six parts of government digital services in one place.
GDS is a team within the Cabinet Office tasked with transforming government digital services. It has already had a number of achievements since it began operations in summer, including the e-petitions service. Nearly three million people have now signed an e-petition, with six petitions either having been or scheduled for debate in Parliament.
Speaking at the launch event on 8 December 2011, Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude, said: "The GDS will be the centre for digital government in the UK. It will transform the way people access government information by using digital technology to deliver services that put the user first and give them the smartest and most cost-effective service possible. I'd like to thank Martha Lane Fox for helping us [...] to make our services 'digital by default' [....]"
Mike Bracken, co-founder of Mysociety and former director of digital development at a UK-based media company, has been appointed as Executive Director of GDS. Writing in the GDS blog, Mr Bracken said: "The Government in its wider sense now has a digital home, and it's from here we can help drive a new generation of digital public services. Cross-Government working, for so long an abstract concept, is starting to happen around this digital centre. And we will continue to throw our doors open to suppliers and partners."
He added: "The mission at GDS is attractive to digital experts and public policy specialists alike and we are starting to see new skills take root within Government. Creating an environment for technology leaders to flourish is one of our key principles, and we are starting to live up to it."
Note: Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v1.0.
- Original news article - Cabinet Office
- Government Digital Service
- Related ePractice news article - UK: Testing started on the 'beta' prototype of the single Government domain
- Background information - ePractice eGovernment Factsheet for the UK