Charles Young

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Friday, December 16, 2011 #

It's always exciting when a new application you've worked on goes live. The last couple of weeks have seen the 'soft' launch of a new service offered by the UK government called 'Tell Us Once' (TUO). You can probably guess from the name what the service does. Currently, the service allows UK citizens to inform the government (as opposed to Register Officers, who must still be notified separately) just once of two types of 'change-of-circumstance' event; namely births and deaths. You can go, say, to your local authority contact centre, where an officer will work through a set of screens with you, collecting the information you wish to provide. Then, once the Submit button is clicked, that's it! With your consent, the correct data sets are parcelled up and distributed to wherever they need to go - central and local government departments, public sector agencies such as the DVLA, Identity and Passport Service, etc. No need to write 50 letters!

With my colleagues at SolidSoft , I'm really proud to have been involved with the team that designed and developed this new service. For the past few years, we worked originally on the prototypes and pilots (there was more than one!). Over the last eighteen months or so, we have been engaged in building the national system, and development work in on-going. It's been a journey! The idea is very simple, but as you can imagine, the realisation of that idea is rather more complex. Look for future enhancements to today's service, with the ability to report events on-line from the comfort of your own home and the possible extension of the system to cover additional event types in future.

Interaction with government has just got a whole lot better for UK citizens, and we helped make that happen. It's a pity that I don't intend to have any more children (four is enough!), and I really hope I don't have to report a death in the near future, but if I do, I'll be beating a path to the door of my local council's contact centre in order to 'tell them once'.

See http://www.guardian.co.uk/government-computing-network/2011/dec/16/tell-us-once-matt-briggs?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

http://www.guardian.co.uk/public-leaders-network/2011/nov/10/tell-us-once-birth-death