Government Digital Service (GDS) to improve the experience of Welsh speakers

The Secretary of State for Wales has welcomed a commitment by the Government Digital Service (GDS) to improve the experience of Welsh speakers when using the UK government’s website.

It follows a tour of the GDS by David Jones MP where he saw how the service was leading the digital transformation of government to create modern, efficient, digital-by-default public services that are fit for the 21st century.

The visit also included a presentation on the recently launched Carer’s Allowance service which allows Welsh speaking carers to apply for their carer’s allowance online in Welsh.

Mr Jones said:

“I am delighted to have seen the fantastic and cutting-edge work which the Government Digital Service is doing in designing online services that represent world class public service delivery while making substantial savings for taxpayers.“

The UK government is committed to providing high-quality online Welsh language services and as a Welsh speaker I fully understand the crucial and important role the language plays in our identity and culture.

“I look forward to working with GDS to do all we can to support the use of the Welsh language on the UK government’s website.”

Mike Bracken, Executive Director of GDS, said:

“We built GOV.UK to meet the needs of all users and that’s why I’m pleased we’re supporting Welsh speakers in accessing government information and services.“

We’re working closely with the Wales Office to ensure that the Welsh language content on GOV.UK is underpinned by high quality user research that provides a simpler, clearer and faster service for users.”

Current Welsh language provision:

•All government organisations can publish versions of their news, reports and other publications both in English and in Welsh, with users able to toggle between the two versions on the GOV.UK site.

•Welsh-language versions of some of the most popular pages on GOV.UK – covering, for example, the government job search, benefits adviser and car tax applications, have all been developed.

•A Welsh language hub links to all Welsh language services on the GOV.UK site.

•The Wales Office is the lead department on Welsh language issues within Whitehall. An official from the Office of the Welsh Language Commissioner was seconded to the Wales Office last year as part of our ongoing commitment to improving Welsh language provision across government.

Further information on the GDS:

•The GDS was established in response to Martha Lane Fox’s report, ‘Directgov 2010 and beyond: revolution not evolution’, and is responsible for ensuring the government offers world-class digital products that meet people’s needs and offer better value for taxpayers’ money.

•Replacing Directgov and Business Link websites with GOV.UK is saving taxpayers up to £50 million a year.

•There will be £1.7 billion potential savings every year by making all government services digital by default for the government and users.

•GOV.UK receives over 50 million visits every month (35% of them from mobile and tablet devices). Overall, there have been 801 million visits since launch in October 2012 and 2.3 billion page views.