Mike Bracken


Digital by default and the challenge of agile government

On policy and delivery
Last night I delivered a speech – without any slides for a change – at the Institute for Government in London (it’s embedded below, or you can watch it on YouTube). The opportunity came from a meeting some months ago with Peter Riddell and his team, so I used Martin Donnelly’s speech earlier in the […] Read more – ‘On policy and delivery’.
On honours
Today I was awarded a CBE in the 2014 New Year’s Honours list. It was made in recognition of the digital transformation of public services, and for working to develop football in the borough of Hackney. While a lovely recognition, it is, of course, largely symbolic. I am delighted to accept it on behalf of […] Read more – ‘On honours’.
Digital 1 year on
Mike Bracken summarises progress with Government’s digital strategy Head of the Government Digital Service (GDS) Mike Bracken, gave Society for IT Management (Socitm) delegates a quick gallop through of his team’s success on the day that the first year’s progress report on the government’s digital strategy was published. He also called on Socitm to be more […] Read more – ‘Digital 1 year on’.
Passports may become exemplar digital service
Inflexible contracts with an incumbent supplier have been blamed for the decision to suspend work on one of the forerunner exemplar digital by default services, the Government Digital Service has revealed. It announced last week that the criminal record check exemplar from the Disclosure and Barring Service would be shelved as “due to the nature […] Read more – ‘Passports may become exemplar digital service’.
Thankyou Martha
It’s just been announced that Martha Lane Fox is stepping down from her role as the UK’s Digital Champion. Martha’s been an inspiration to us here at GDS, and the tremendous impact she’s had right across the civil service is worthy of someone who called for a ‘revolution’. If you’re a regular reader of this blog then […] Read more – ‘Thankyou Martha’.
U.K. Official Urges U.S. Government To Adopt A Digital Core
Originally posted on www.npr.org by Elise Hu  – October 23rd 2013   When he read about the technical failures plaguing HealthCare.gov, Mike Bracken said it felt like a real-life version of the movie Groundhog Day. During the past decade, the government in the United Kingdom faced a string of public, embarrassing and costly IT failures. Finally, a monster technical fiasco […] Read more – ‘U.K. Official Urges U.S. Government To Adopt A Digital Core’.
Redesigning Government
Mike Bracken speaks about Redesigning Government at CodeforAmerica 2013 Read more – ‘Redesigning Government’.
The Open Standards Board
by liammaxwelll on 15/04/2013 In the Open Standards Principles we said that we’d set up an Open Standards Board to help us to decide which open standards to use in government IT. Now that we’ve published the first 8 challenges on the Standards Hub, it’s time to set up the Board and start making those decisions. The Board will focus […] Read more – ‘The Open Standards Board’.
On Strategy: The strategy is delivery. Again.
In 2011, early in my current role, I discussed with the Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude, the strategy I recommended we adopt for all things digital. The strategy was to be disarmingly simple: to deliver. Often, iteratively and repetitively. Read more – ‘On Strategy: The strategy is delivery. Again.’.
Standing on the shoulders of giants
We are all shocked and saddened by the death of Aaron Swartz. Some of my colleagues at GDS were fortunate to have met him; others were involved in the many projects he worked on; all of us are in some way indebted to his legacy. As Sir Tim Berners-Lee said, ‘we have lost a mentor, […] Read more – ‘Standing on the shoulders of giants’.
Government lets users call its digital tune
(Click the above screen to watch the video) TECHCITYINSIDER100: The Government Digital Service is sweeping reform through the state’s digital output, after being told by the Cabinet Office to deliver world-class digital products that meet people’s needs. It’s an agenda that’s forcing a rethink from the user’s perspective. The service’s director Mike Bracken spoke to […] Read more – ‘Government lets users call its digital tune’.
Public engagement in policy-making
Mike Bracken speaks to the Select Committee about GDS and it’s role in public engagement in policy-making. Click the image to be taken to the video on the ParliamentLive.tv website. Read more – ‘Public engagement in policy-making’.
This week at GDS
The big news this week has been the transition of two central government departments and three agencies to GOV.UK. Following the release of GOV.UK last month, it’s the next step towards establishing a single domain for government. Huge congratulations to everyone involved for months of hard work, and special thanks to all the people in departments and […] Read more – ‘This week at GDS’.
One-stop gov mark IV: GOV.uk goes live
Wednesday 17 October 2012Author: Michael Cross [original post here] From this morning, every visitor to the www.direct.gov.uk and www.businesslink.gov.uk has been directed to www.gov.uk. Under the promise to be ‘simpler, clearer, faster’ the site is billed as the new online home of government services and information. The Cabinet Office’s Government Digital Services says GOV.uk is […] Read more – ‘One-stop gov mark IV: GOV.uk goes live’.
Government services go ‘digital by default’ to save almost £3bn
Website overhaul will see more transactions, such as driving test bookings and tax payments, move online Charles Arthur, technology editor guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 6 November 2012 16.15 GMT [original post here] In 2011 about 150m phone calls made to government services could have been avoided if the online service were better. Photograph: Getty A sweeping redesign […] Read more – ‘Government services go ‘digital by default’ to save almost £3bn’.
Mike Bracken, talks to UKAtv’s Helen Olsen about Gov.uk
One digital space for government: GOV.uk Government has today hit the switch to turn off Directgov and Businesslink, replacing them both with GOV.uk. Government’s executive director for digital, Mike Bracken, talks to UKAtv’s Helen Olsen about the focus on user experience and efficiency that led to the development of a new digital platform for government, […] Read more – ‘Mike Bracken, talks to UKAtv’s Helen Olsen about Gov.uk’.
Why GOV.UK matters: A platform for a digital Government
On Wednesday October 17th 2012, our new digital service www.gov.uk moved out of public beta development to replace the two main government websites, Directgov and Business Link. It is the first major, full platform release from the Government Digital Service. This release heralds a new approach to digital delivery of public services in the UK. […] Read more – ‘Why GOV.UK matters: A platform for a digital Government’.
GOV.UK steps out of beta and replaces BusinessLink and DirectGov from today
17TH OCTOBER 2012 by JAMILLAH KNOWLES The UK Government is finally launching GOV.UK out of beta. From today this website replaces DirectGov and BusinessLink to consolidate the information that people need to get things done. The idea is to create a ‘simpler, clearer and faster site’ and the changes have been in the works since […] Read more – ‘GOV.UK steps out of beta and replaces BusinessLink and DirectGov from today’.
Mike Bracken and the UK Government’s Digital Strategy
by Stefany Barker [original story here] In September import•io attended Wall Street Journal’s TechCafe talks with Mike Bracken, director of the Government Digital Service unit (GDS) in the Cabinet Office, and Ben Hammersley, David Cameron’s Tech City ambassador and author of 64 Things You Need to Know Now for Then, to gain intimate insight into […] Read more – ‘Mike Bracken and the UK Government’s Digital Strategy’.
Happy Birthday, We The People!
A year ago, the White House launched We the People, a new platform that allows anyone to create or sign petitions asking the Obama Administration to take action on a range of issues. In just one year’s time, the platform has generated 3.4 million signatures by 2.8 million users. And what’s even more exciting is that […] Read more – ‘Happy Birthday, We The People!’.
New Tool Verifies Authenticity of Gov’t Social Media Sites
By John K. Higgins. E-Commerce Times, 14 September 2012. “… GSA has just launched a tool to help consumers identify legitimate federal government social media sites. Now the public can use GSA’s “social media registry” to validate that an account is really managed by the government and is not an impostor. Read the full story […] Read more – ‘New Tool Verifies Authenticity of Gov’t Social Media Sites’.
Four Challenges for Open Data
We’ve seen an amazing growth of interest in open data within the UK and worldwide over the past half-dozen years, but in my opinion there are still some challenges ahead if we want to get to a situation in which open data is being used to its full potential, by government and businesses and individuals. […] Read more – ‘Four Challenges for Open Data’.
Wall Street Journal // The U.K.’s Digital Plan to Innovate Government
By Ben Rooney – Featured in The Wall Street Journal – 19.09.12 At last week’s WSJ Tech Cafe held near London’s “Silicon Roundabout,” venture capitalist Saul Klein of Index Ventures said that the Internet was coming of age and should be able to tackle big things like health care, education, transport—or government. Described by one […] Read more – ‘Wall Street Journal // The U.K.’s Digital Plan to Innovate Government’.
Wall Street Journal // Delivering Government 2.0
By Ben Rooney How do you go about transforming the U.K.’s civil service to deliver digital services? By recruiting the best people you can. Mike Bracken is the man responsible for delivering all of the U.K. government’s digital services. U.K. Tech City Ambassador Ben Hammersely describes him as a “god” in his role as executive director of digital […] Read more – ‘Wall Street Journal // Delivering Government 2.0’.
Digital by default and the challenge of agile government
Mike Bracken, executive director for the Government Digital Service talks about agile government at the Guardian Activate Summit: London 2012 Read more – ‘Digital by default and the challenge of agile government’.
Computer Weekly // GDS head Mike Bracken on Estonia’s digital services
Mike Bracken, executive director of the Government Digital Service, talked to Computer Weekly about what UK public services could learn from Estonia’s open source model and why a dose of its IT leaders’ humility wouldn’t go amiss in Whitehall.    Estonia has one of the most advanced online public service offerings in the world and is held […] Read more – ‘Computer Weekly // GDS head Mike Bracken on Estonia’s digital services’.
Digital a key component for Civil Service Reform Plan
The Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude today launched the Civil Service Reform Plan and we were glad to welcome him and Sir Bob Kerslake, Head of the Civil Service, to GDS this morning in advance of the announcement. You can see them chatting to GDS staff Alice Newton and Jordan Hatch in the video below. […] Read more – ‘Digital a key component for Civil Service Reform Plan’.
Francis Maude speaks at Intellect Public Services Conference 2012
“Digital is not another channel, it is the delivery choice for this generation” - Francis Maude, Minister for Cabinet Office said at the Intellect World-Class Public Services Conference today,  11 June 2012 This morning I had a chance to speak at the Intellect World-Class Public Services Conference and to listen to the keynote speech delivered by the Minister […] Read more – ‘Francis Maude speaks at Intellect Public Services Conference 2012’.
Mike Bracken Australian GovCamp message
UK Government Digital Service Executive Director of Digital Mike Bracken sent this goodwill message to Australia’s GovCamp held on June 5, 2012. Read more – ‘Mike Bracken Australian GovCamp message’.
Estonia’s technology economy and online service provision – back to the future?
This week I spent a few days visiting Estonia with Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office, Liam Maxwell, the new Deputy CIO and colleagues with Cyber Security responsibilities. We came to see how a small country of 1.3 million has developed a culture and system of Governance and public service provision using the Internet […] Read more – ‘Estonia’s technology economy and online service provision – back to the future?’.
Identity and privacy principles
As with most of our releases and work at the Government Digital Service, we release our work early for review and comment. Recently the Identity Assurance Programme Privacy and Consumer Advisory Group, a working group of the main board, issued the following principles for discussion. Although not yet ratified by the full board, these principles […] Read more – ‘Identity and privacy principles’.
Budget Blog
This week saw one of the key set pieces in the Government’s annual calendar – the Budget. All of Government is affected and we’re no different here in Government Digital Service. In this budget the government set out its ambition to make the UK the technology hub of Europe, supporting technological innovation and helping the […] Read more – ‘Budget Blog’.
Identity: One small step for all of Government
Today the cross-Government Identity Assurance programme sanctioned DWP to publish a tender to procure Identity services for all of Government. The notice appears here in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU), and marks the start of the formal process to create a market of identity services for access to digital public services. Commercially, it means […] Read more – ‘Identity: One small step for all of Government’.
Thoughts on my recent trip to the West Coast with Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office
The Minister for the Cabinet Office,Francis Maude, and I recently travelled to the West Coast of the US which coincided with the launch of GOV.UK. It was slightly surreal not to be in the UK for such an important moment for GDS but really gratifying to see the interest shown by the US tech media. The aim […] Read more – ‘Thoughts on my recent trip to the West Coast with Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office’.
This is why we are here
The beta of GOV.UK is now live. Back in late summer last year, I wrote that ‘we exist to make public services digital by default, and we are relentlessly focused on user needs.’ About 10 minutes ago we released the next step on our journey toward a single domain for government – and it has been driven entirely by […] Read more – ‘This is why we are here’.
My Reflections on UKGovCamp 2012
I really enjoyed being able to get to UKGovCamp 2012 last Friday where I had a chance to outline some of our thinking around GOV.UK. My reference to Chatham House Rules got an interesting reaction – I only meant in relation to further circulation of the slide deck – not to what I was actually saying. I […] Read more – ‘My Reflections on UKGovCamp 2012’.
How to get to ‘digital by default’ – interview on Government Computing
Mike Bracken, executive director of the Government Digital Service, has said the key is keeping user need central to the development of online service, writes Mark Say A few flags may be waved around the Cabinet Office today to mark the official launch of the Government Digital Service (GDS). In reality it has been at […] Read more – ‘How to get to ‘digital by default’ – interview on Government Computing’.
Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office, opens the new home of the Government Digital Service
We are open for business. We have a new home. It’s taken a few months of incredibly hard work to bring six parts of Government activity into one place, but we’re here now. We’ve had huge support, from Cabinet Office colleagues, our Minister and his colleagues in Number 10, and crucially the Treasury. We’ve had great support too from many in […] Read more – ‘Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office, opens the new home of the Government Digital Service’.
Mike Bracken, Executive Director of Digital, Government Digital Service
Mike Bracken addresses ‘The Crown and suppliers: a new way of working’ conference. Read more – ‘Mike Bracken, Executive Director of Digital, Government Digital Service’.
Establishing trust in digital services
Monday was a big day for the Identity Assurance Programme. The Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude, explained to a packed Technology Strategy Board event why a federated identity assurance model is essential for the ‘digital by default’ initiative and how important this digital policy is, not just for public services but for the wider economy. […] Read more – ‘Establishing trust in digital services’.
The second lever
We are hiring. And we want more world-class digital talent in Government. It’s been a pleasant surprise to find outstanding digital talent across Government. From theTechnology in Business Fast Stream to the excellent work done to make technology procurement easier by John Collington and the Government Procurement Service, there is too much digital change occurring to list here. […] Read more – ‘The second lever’.
Computer Weekly // CIO interview: Mike Bracken, UK government director of digital
by Kathleen Hall Whitehall is not exactly known for being at the bleeding edge of technological innovation. But as the newly appointed government director of digital, ex-Guardian technology head Mike Bracken is set to change that perception. In an exclusive interview with Computer Weekly, he discusses the challenges ahead. When the £141,000 per annum role of digital […] Read more – ‘Computer Weekly // CIO interview: Mike Bracken, UK government director of digital’.
Welcome to the Government Digital Service blog
We exist to make public services digital by default, and we are relentlessly focused on user needs. At the moment, we are bringing together various strands of Government digital activity into one function in order to drive up quality and consistency of user experience. Please do take some time to review our projects. As the […] Read more – ‘Welcome to the Government Digital Service blog’.
Wired // Mike Bracken appointed as government’s director of digital
By Duncan Geere The coalition has appointed Mike Bracken as executive director of digital in the cabinet office, following Martha Lane Fox’s review of Directgov. The post, which Wired.co.uk investigated thoroughly back in April, calls for a candidate to “change the model of government online publishing, by putting a new central team in Cabinet Office in control of the […] Read more – ‘Wired // Mike Bracken appointed as government’s director of digital’.
On becoming Executive Director of Digital in the Cabinet Office
I am delighted to have accepted a new position. To give it the full title, I will take the post of Executive Director of Digital Efficiency and Reform Group, Cabinet Office. I will start in early July. I am really looking forward to meeting the team at the Government Digital Service. For someone with my longstanding […] Read more – ‘On becoming Executive Director of Digital in the Cabinet Office’.
Reflections on the Guardian
So I’m leaving the Guardian. It’s a great organisation, and I will miss the people hugely. The building, culture and atmosphere all help, but the key to the place is the talent. It’s full of hugely talented people, and it’s the development team I will miss most of all. The digital strategy we pioneered at […] Read more – ‘Reflections on the Guardian’.
Telegraph // Government’s £142,000 ‘digital tsar’ named
Mike Bracken, co-founder of MySociety and former Guardian executive, to be government’s Executive Director of Digital By Matt Warman, Consumer Technology Editor 11:00AM BST 20 May 2011 The Government has announced the appointment of its new head of all things digital. Mike Bracken will take up the post some have dubbed the ‘Twitter tsar’, having stood down […] Read more – ‘Telegraph // Government’s £142,000 ‘digital tsar’ named’.
Mike talking at webOS 2011
Highlights of the WP webOS Innovations Seminar in London. (Developers are our customer.) Sound bites from Richard Kerris (VP, Worldwide Developer Relations, HP), Ben Tattersley (webOS Developer), Mike Bracken (Dir. Digital Development, Guardian), Ben Fush (It Consultant), Robert Douglas (UX Designer, Ribot) among others. Read more – ‘Mike talking at webOS 2011’.
From Publisher to Platform: 14 ways to get benefits from social media – video
In November, we published the slides from my presentation to the Gartner 2010 Symposium in Orlando, Florida. Gartner have now released the video, and it includes an introduction from Mark McDonald, Group Vice President of Executive ProgramsMike Bracken Read more – ‘From Publisher to Platform: 14 ways to get benefits from social media – video’.
From Publisher to Platform: 14 ways to get benefits from social media
This is the second of two presentations on how we work digitally at the Guardian, from Mike Bracken, who leads the digital technology team here. The first was a short, high-octane presentation about innovating. This is much more in-depth and shows how ... Read more – ‘From Publisher to Platform: 14 ways to get benefits from social media’.
Welcome to the Guardian Developer Blog
The Guardian's new blog will cover some of the work we get up to on the technology side of guardian.co.ukWelcome to our new Developer Blog. We want to use this forum to talk about some of the work we get up to on the technology side of guardian.co.uk a... Read more – ‘Welcome to the Guardian Developer Blog’.
Controlling innovation in media organisations
This is the first of two presentations on how we work digitally at the Guardian, from Mike Bracken who heads the digital development team here.This one is from WPP Stream, which is the annual gathering run by Sir Martin Sorrell's company, for WPP peopl... Read more – ‘Controlling innovation in media organisations’.
Video: Panel Discussion – the Power of Apps
Filmed live at the launch of data.gov.uk, Tim Berners-Lee, Nigel Shadbolt, Richard Allan and Chris Taggart join the Guardian's technology director Mike Bracken to discuss the issues and opportunities surrounding the release of government dataMike Bracken Read more – ‘Video: Panel Discussion – the Power of Apps’.