back to article Parliament is building a new website – and it doesn't want GDS anywhere near it

The UK Parliament is hiring a load of web developers, analysts and UX folk as it prepares to revamp its website – and it's keeping the whole project well away from the Government Digital Service, The Register has learned. Parliament's website, while functional and reasonably clear, is a bit long in the tooth – and its …

  1. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge

    With GDS, it's harder to engage in patronage

    What ridiculousness do you want? Clean government?

  2. andy 103

    MP's should educate themselves about the web first!

    As a web developer, I cringe whenever I read articles like this.

    With all due respect those who work in parliament have little to no understanding of how the web works, much less what users want from it, how they use it, or the technology that powers it.

    They should start by contracting professionals to educate THEMSELVES (i.e. members of parliament) in how things work, and how end users have vastly differing requirements. Until then it's hard to take anything they're saying seriously and very concerning they're spending vast sums of money on something they know frankly nothing about.

    1. BoldMan

      Re: MP's should educate themselves about the web first!

      This isn't being run by MPs but by the people who run the Houses of Parliament, they are different things.

    2. Tom Womack

      Re: MP's should educate themselves about the web first!

      That's exactly what they did; they looked at and then asked the people who designed that to tell them what they needed to do for the Parliament Web site. Seems a pretty decent approach to me.

  3. macjules

    Won't someone think of poor Capita?

    Why, oh why have they not brought yours and mine favourite web destroyers developers to do this? At the very least they could allow pay Capita £25m to put up the 'construction in progress' page, like GDS did with

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    We need to leave this London centric political union, they cost us too much, don't deliver anything for the ordinary working people and they create too much red tape!

    I call for a referendum, to free up the billions in wasted money they take out of our pockets everyday and the repeal of their laws that premote globalisation and non-accountability.

    I'm forming the SHires Independance party - SHIP - lets ship them out of our lives.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Referendum

      What London needs is to leave England behind. We could have a referendum to leave England.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Referendum

        "What London needs is to leave England behind. We could have a referendum to leave England."

        or the UK could simply decide to leave London to a rising sea level and move its capital to somewhere a bit more appropriate. The rest of us might even allow immigrants, such as yourself, in. Either that or subsidise your swimming lessons 8)

        I live in a damp county (Somerset) ... on a hill.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Referendum

        "What London needs is to leave England behind. We could have a referendum to leave England."

        How much are Spindizzys these days? Can we have a whip round and buy a dozen for City of London?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Referendum

      "I'm forming the SHires Independance party - SHIP - lets ship them out of our lives"

      Thinking like that lead to a couple of really shit boats departing from Southampton, one breaking a bit more and limping to Dartmouth and the other parking up for a while in Plymouth before making a really badly advised E-W Atlantic crossing but somehow getting to the other side.

      Funny how few people remember the "Speedwell".

      It won't be long before you are whinging about the tax on tea and demonstrating that the true mark of a Briton is to not stand for pissing about with the one true drink and declaring yourself independent by throwing boxes of imported Yorkie brew (the non existent irony sadly lost at the time) into the flood waters around Brent Knoll where your hastily built ark grounded after Google nav went a bit weird.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Thinking outside the box!

    What wrong with for $30/month?

    1. Hollerithevo

      Re: Thinking outside the box!

      Westminster isn't the mother of parliaments, England is.

  6. M7S

    Independence from government (and thus GDS)

    that's why it is and not

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And the digital locusts get to double dip us all again.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why bother?

    These look and function very much like comments threads here on El Reg.... and allow Parliamentarians to read what the great unwashed have to say about issues du jour

    ...and then ignore them.


  9. Scott Broukell

    A little OT but . . . .

    They should build a whole new parliament while they're at it. You know somewhere 21st century, up to date, with modern facilities and very modest accommodation blocks where our elected representatives, who need to be in London for short periods, can share kitchen/sitting room/washing facilities with half a dozen other representatives, from all sides, and enjoy the chance to engage in political discussion whilst sharing the washing up duties. I dunno, base it on the Welsh / Scottish assemblies and turn the old place into a museum with coffee bars and conference facilities.

    1. PNGuinn

      Re: A little OT but . . . .

      "They should build a whole new parliament while they're at it."

      Disused whorehouse Oops! I mean warehouse in Milton Keynes or Scunthorpe or Slough (No, too near London) or ....

  10. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    "Parliament is building a new website – and it doesn't want GDS anywhere near it"

    If that isn't a sign of competence, I don't know what is.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Couldn't agree more. A definitive sign that someone, somewhere knows what they are doing.

      1. BebopWeBop

        Or at the very least knows what they should not be doing.

  11. Number6


    Hopefully they'll offer the video archives in something a bit better than Silverlight that is properly cross platform (HTML5, anyone?)

    The information available is quite comprehensive, you just need to allow yourself time to find out where it is. I assume that's the sort of thing to be addressed by the revamp.

    1. Mellipop

      Re: Video

      There's a radical thought. Constructive suggestions.

  12. Uberseehandel

    Pay rates stink

    pay peanuts.....

    What MPs don't get is that for central London, they are on 4th quartile wages,so will they ever hire people who are good at what they do?

  13. lukewarmdog

    Totally misread it

    Thought they were trying to keep away from GPS so nobody could guy Fawkes it again.

  14. Youngone Silver badge

    Wait.. no flamewars?

    The article said there seemed to be no Linux/Windows/Apple/Android wars on their forums.

    Is that because they all accept the superiority of Linux?

    Just curious.

  15. Senor Beavis

    Separate digital service from GDS

    So that would be like every other department's digital service, then.

    GDS is the Cabinet Office's digital service. It defined the approach (taking best research, design and development practices from the private sector); it also helped all the departments and agencies to consolidate their content from hundreds of separate sites onto a single GOV.UK site.

    Other departments and agencies, like DWP, Dept of Health, HMRC. Home Office, Ministry of Justice, DVLA and many others each have their own separate digital services. While they follow the lead and template set by GDS, they are separate entities, with their own respective budgets and operating in their own way.

    Parliament is doing exactly the same thing. So this is perfectly normal - whether it's a good or a bad thing entirely depends on how well Parliament do their research, design and implementation.

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