Government service performance platform closes 'for maintenance'

Written by Sam Trendall on 11 December 2019 in News

No timeframe on when work will conclude but plans are being made for information to be temporarily republished elsewhere, PublicTechnology understands

Credit: Crown Copyright/Open Government Licence v3.0

The online platform providing data on the performance of hundreds of government services has been closed “for maintenance” until further notice.

The GOV.UK performance platform – a recently archived version of which is available from the National Archives – contains dashboards tracking the performance of 775 central government services. 

The site allows citizens to view a wide range of information on individual services, including volume of transactions, cost, methods of delivery, digitisation rate, user satisfaction and uptime. The services covered are delivered a cumulative total of more than one billion times annually.

PublicTechnology has been led to understand that the site – which, at the time of its closure, was still in beta mode – has been taken down to allow for maintenance that will allow it to better cope with traffic and usage demands. 

Details of scheduled maintenance and downtime of government digital services are typically pre-emptively announced online but, owing to the pre-election restrictions, there was no announcement ahead of the Performance Platform being closed sometime on Monday. 

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No timeframe has been set for the maintenance work or when the platform might relaunch. More detail on this may be available once the election has concluded and the new government is in situ.

In the shorter term, the plan, to as great an extent as possible, is to make the data that was contained on the site publicly available elsewhere. 

Although, again, no specific date has been set for this to take place, nor is it yet clear whether this information will be rehoused in a single hub, or spread across various online locations.

In the meantime, visitors are advised that “the Performance Platform on GOV.UK is currently down for maintenance”.

The site adds: “This does not affect people’s ability to use any other digital services.”

The site is intended for use by “government service managers and their teams”, as well as by “journalists, students and researchers [and] members of the public interested in how public services are doing”.

Service managers are encouraged to create a dashboard as doing so “lets you quickly spot problems with your service so you can take action to improve it”. A dashboard also removes the need for the manual collection of data, and promotes transparency, according to the ‘About’ section of the archived site.

“The Performance Dashboards are just another way the government is opening up data to the public,” it says. “If you’re a service manager, you may be concerned about presenting facts about how your service is doing so openly. In general, the novelty of open data has worn off. There is nothing sensational about seeing how many people are satisfied with a government service, or how many people completed an application.”

The Cabinet Office declined to comment.


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Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

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