Government updates Notify savings projections

Service is on track to hit target of £45m in annual savings by year five, according to Cabinet Office

Credit: Crown Copyright/Open Government Licence v3.0

The Cabinet Office has said its award-winning GOV.UK Notify messaging service is “on track” to deliver savings of £35m a year for the public purse.

An update on the project, which aims to cut down on demand for contact centres for a range of public-sector services, said Notify had already sent out more than half a billion messages, such as council tax-payment reminders to alerts about pending medical appointments.

While the saving figure is a £10m reduction on earlier-flagged projections that Notify would save £45m a year, the Cabinet Office insisted savings would build up an annual £45m by the fifth year of its current five-year schedule.

Following a seven-month public beta phase, the service was rolled out across all central government departments in March 2017, but was subsequently made available to local authorities and the NHS.

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Notify won the Dame Lesley Strathie Operational Excellence Award at last year’s Civil Service Awards in recognition of its contribution to government efficiency and innovation.

In an update on the project last week, the Cabinet Office said Notify was now expected to save £175m over the next five years, averaging out at £35m a year.

Cabinet Office minister Oliver Dowden said Notify was a “great example” of how the government was using technology to make people’s lives easier and save money.

“This allows us to invest more in the public’s priorities, with the savings from this initiative alone equivalent to the cost of building eight new secondary schools,” he said.

The department said more than 1,200 services across central government, local government, and the wider public sector now used the service.

Government Digital Service Notify team leader Pete Herlihy said the service had been designed to meet the messaging needs of teams across the public sector.

“It’s brilliant to see it so widely adopted and a great example of meeting users’ needs at scale with a small diverse team,” he said.


Sam Trendall

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