Directgov shuts Sky interactive service
By Julian Clover
Published: December 8, 2010 11.58 Europe/London

Directgov, the central information point for public services, is to shut its interactive service on the Sky platform on December 22. The services will move to the Red Button on The Community Channel.

The decision comes just a few weeks after the publication of a report by Martha Lane Fox, UK Digital Champion, that argued shifting 30% of government service delivery contracts to digital channels has the potential to deliver gross annual savings of more than £1.3 billion.

A Cabinet Office spokesperson said; “Directgov are continuously looking for efficiency savings and finding ways to deliver services in a way that works best for citizens, and will therefore no longer be providing a service via Sky’s interactive channel.”

We have recently developed a syndication tool which allows greater possibility of placing all of the content from Directgov onto new channels, for little to no cost.”

Directgov was launched in 2004, replacing the UK Online portal, and was designed to act as a single reference for all government services. In addition to its website and mobile services, access points on digital television platforms were also established.

The Freeview service closed on July 1, 2010, though Directgov continues on Virgin Media. An NHS Direct service had already closed.

Access to public services is one element of the proposed YouView hybrid platform.

With the closure of Directgov the Sky Interactive section that once ran to two pages will now have just five entries. Following the earlier departure of Miniweb’s TV Keys, Playjam remains the only non-Sky branded service on the platform.

In July responsibility for Directgov moved from Department of Work and Pensions to the Cabinet to the Cabinet Office following the General Election.