This is a new service to allow companies in the extractives industries (e.g. oil, coal) to file reports to meet the legal obligations under the Reports on Payments to Government Regulations 2014. The service will also include a search facility to enable interested parties such as the Civil Society and media to access the information. Publishing of information will increase transparency around the extractives industry. Data will also be available to intermediaries via an API.
Department / Agency:
BIS / Companies House
Date of Assessment:
Result of Assessment:
Outcome of service assessment
After consideration the assessment panel have concluded that the service has passed the service standard at this early stage of development.
Reasons and recommendations
This is a small niche service with a limited number of users. There are 184 known registered entities which will be required to file. It has been developed in parallel with legislative changes which means that there is a degree of uncertainty around the final design e.g. the definition of non-registered entities, (companies working in partnership) that may be required to file.
The service manager and team demonstrated clear evidence against the service standard with particular areas of note including:
- Good engagement with industries and civil society to develop the schema and service design.
- Strong evidence of agile working practices e.g. changes to stand up and show & tells to better meet the team and stakeholder needs; colocation of team; clear sprint planning; retrospectives; collaborative tools (JIRA).
- Strong evidence of visual management e.g. Kanban, visibility of personas.
- Good evidence of iterative development from early prototypes to the current alpha version evolved through 8 iterations.
- Open source technical solutions with the potential to repurpose.
- Pragmatic use of existing Companies House technical infrastructure and tools (e.g. payment and ID authentication) providing assurance and resilience.
Areas for particular focus in the beta phase, recognising the service needs to be publicly available from January 2016 are:
- Whilst the team has developed a good understanding of the service for registered entities, further work is needed to design and test for non-registered entities e.g. authentication needs to be worked through, paying particular attention to the process for non-registered entities.
- Further research to confirm the Assisted Digital (AD) need, and to provide supportive evidence at the beta assessment. This also includes evidence on how they are measuring the AD support offered against the four key performance indicators (KPIs).
- Given timescales, a decision should be made early during beta on live service deployment to mitigate any risks.
- The current test coverage was suitable for an alpha phase, but test environments appeared limited given a single environment was in use for development and test. The panel recommend that in beta the numbers of environments are expanded and a continuous integration pipeline is established.
- The current deployment environment will be different from the live rollout, so demonstration will be required in beta of testing in an environment that mimics it, in addition to integration with test harnesses of existing authentication/access and payment solutions.
- To work with GDS on the start/end pages for the service on GOV.UK including revisiting existing content to reflect the new service.
- The service should be reviewed to ensure consistency with GOV.UK style and design.
- Further analysis to identify a clear baseline to monitor performance e.g. target expectations on completion rates and how they compare with other services.
- The team acknowledged plans to develop the Performance Platform dashboard and this should be pursued during beta.
Digital Service Standard criteria