Planning Portal, Directgov and LPA websites
You may be aware that most Government websites are required to shift citizen-facing content to Directgov by March 2011. The idea being to make it easier for citizens to find Government content and to reduce the mountain of .Gov websites cluttering up the web.
Up ’til now we’ve struggled to understand how we might meet this obligation while retaining our ability to continue to drive reform of the planning system. This has caused no little tension.
That was then…
Regular readers will be aware of our recent IT upgrade and the upcoming redesign using a much more modular approach. The key benefit of this will be the ability to deliver different versions of the Portal for different audiences while publishing only once (a hydra with one body and many heads is one analogy – but not in a scary way!).
This means we will now be able to offer up a version of the Portal specifically for the Directgov audience. It will be wrapped in the Directgov branding and adhere to Directgov quality standards but will be entirely managed within our existing infrastructure and contain the tools and services the Portal has become well known for.
We presented this idea to the good folks at Directgov very recently, and I think they’ll agree, we have a very positive way forward.
We see this as a wonderful opportunity to benefit from the undoubted skills and experience that Directgov has and to contribute to the improvement of Government services online on a wider platform. This will take a little while but watch this space for regular updates.
We are also investigating whether there may be demand from LPAs for a locally branded version of the Portal.
Following the principles described above, we might develop a version of the site that serves up just the stuff an LPA might want its citizens to have. Once again wrapped in local branding but automatically generated from centrally created Portal content.
It’s great what technology and joined-up Government can do these days!