GOV.UK app unveiled to make it easier to access government services

The UK government has unveiled a new app that will allow citizens to manage a range of services such as providing free school meals, supporting family members or even changing driving license details.

The project, which is led by the Cabinet Office, will merge the nearly 200 ways people can currently create a Gov.uk account into a single login process to access more than 300 government services.

The new app follows the launch of the official NHS app in 2018, which formed a central hub where users could seek health advice, make an appointment with a GP, read their medical records and, more recently, access their Covid vaccination passport.

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Steve Barclay, has unveiled plans for the GOV.UK app, which has been designed to help people access services more easily.

It has been compared to similar apps created by private sector companies that allow users to log in and access a variety of different services via their smartphone.

“Now more than ever, it’s important for the government to respond to people’s heightened expectations for the services they use,” Barclay said.

“During the pandemic, people have had to interact with public services in a variety of new ways, including the NHS app and the vaccine booking service.

“People rightly expect government to be data-driven and digitally savvy, and that will be a priority for me in my new role.”

As part of the development of the application, the Government Digital Service (GDS) is working across all ministries to ensure that as many services as possible can be integrated.

The Cabinet Office was also keen to note that it had been designed with “robust data protection principles” to protect private information that will be available to users.

Using the app will be optional, with people still able to access government services in different ways if they prefer.

Barclay also announced the members of the new Digital Advisory Council, which has been set up to advise ministers and civil servants across government and accelerate the digitalisation of services.

According to The telegraph of the daythe app is due to launch in late 2022 and could also include the ability to send notifications to users when their driver’s license is about to expire or if a change in policy may affect them, for example regarding the payment of benefits .

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Ashley C. Reynolds