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Roadmap update: Friday 7 November

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We post roadmap updates about twice a month. These posts show what the GOV.UK team has recently changed and what we’re working on next.

Once per month, these posts also include an updated product roadmap which gives a longer-term view of the changes we’re planning.

The November issue of the roadmap is out now: download it here.


We’re currently prioritising changes to GOV.UK which:

  1. enable us to complete the transition of HMRC, agencies and non-departmental public bodies into GOV.UK by Christmas
  2. reduce the complexity of our software, so development of GOV.UK does not slow down
  3. meet mainstream users’ needs to check their eligibility under new or changed government schemes
  4. ready GOV.UK to meet users’ needs around the 2015 election

Things we’ve done since 20 October

For end users

In the past couple of weeks, we’ve:

  • completed transition of more agencies including Homes and Communities Agency and Innovate UK leaving 33 agencies to go, and continued to transition HMRC (tax content on GOV.UK now gets more traffic than the content still to come across from
  • built a tool which lets users find the right Valuation Office Agency contact for their property based on postcode (this will go live when VOA completes transition)
  • made further progress on adding email notifications to sub-topics and to the 2 finders for drug and medical device safety information (these finders won’t launch until MHRA completes transition)
  • completed the build of finders for marine and rail accident investigation reports, including improvements to the finder publishing tools (these won’t launch until MAIB and RAIB complete transition)

For government publishers

For our users around government, we’ve:

Technical and process improvements

In the past few weeks we’ve:

  • completed the work of creating a new syntax to make it easier for developers and (some) content designers to reason about the logic contained within smart answers like this one, and built 1 new and converted 1 existing smart answer to use this syntax
  • solved the problem of URL arbitration (stopping applications from trying to use the same URL for different pages) as part of re-architecting our software to use a single publishing pipeline
  • completed switchover of the transition tool to Postgres, to allow it to scale and remain stable
  • retired two applications (‘redirector’ and ‘fact cave’) which were no longer needed
  • completed technical work to serve GOV.UK from behind a second content delivery network, increasing our resilience

Things we plan to do next

For end users

In the next couple of weeks, we plan to:

  • continue to transition more agencies onto GOV.UK, including HM Courts and Tribunals Service and the Valuation Office Agency
  • release a new tool for calculating parental leave entitlement incorporating new Shared Parental Leave rules
  • complete the work of adding email notifications to sub-topic pages and to the finders for drug safety updates and alerts and recalls for drugs and medical devices
  • release a new tool to help users find embassies and consular offices (still pending FCO content changes)
  • start a project to prototype possible changes to the policies format so we can meet users’ needs for understanding government policy after the election, and to define the approach we will take to handling deprecated content
  • make the layout of services and information links on organisation pages clearer and more consistent, to help users understand their purpose more easily

For government publishers

We will:

  • provide a way for publishers to export lists of documents in a CSV format, to make it easier for them to audit their content
  • make progress on scraping and importing content into the various new finders for transitioning agencies
  • keep supporting HMRC to hook up their manuals publishing tool to publish redacted manuals onto GOV.UK through our API

Technical and process improvements

On the tech side, we will:

  • start a project to rebuild the Whitehall application using our new publishing APIs, so we can continue to iterate the /government part of the site and the publishing tools to manage it
  • continue with the related project of building a single publishing pipeline, with a focus on tagging content to topics and the ability to flexibly tag related items of any kind to one another

If any of this is unclear, or if you have feedback on whether we’re prioritising the right stuff, please do comment on this post to let us know.

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