Local Government as a Platform

Last week we were lucky enough to be able to talk at the Public Sector Digital Transformation Forum about Local Government as a Platform, and more specifically, using GOV.UK Pay in local government services.

The phrase Government as a Platform is not universally understood, The Government Digital Service describes it as:

… a new way of building digital services. We’re creating a set of shared components, service designs, platforms, data and hosting, that every government service can use.

This frees up teams to spend their time designing user-centric services rather than starting from scratch, so services become easier to create and cheaper to run.

Which is not a bad place to start, but it hides much of the difficulty of moving from our current situation (in local government) of having a specific application stack for each service, to one where common components are shared across many service applications.

We used GOV.UK Pay component as an example of how to create a compelling business case for extracting a common component out of a single business process (paying for a parking charge notice) in order to begin the journey of adopting GaaP. We showed that it is possible to justify the investment of integrating GOV.UK Pay with a single service.

However, we pointed out that integrating GOV.UK Pay to a front-end user journey is just the tip of the iceberg, and real effort is required to ensure that back-end processes are well integrated into GOV.UK Pay too. Providing automated reconciliation and refund processes is necessary to avoid adding a significant administrative burden.

Take a look at the presentation here

If you’d like to learn more about how we can help your organisation integrate Gov.UK Pay, please get in touch with the team