GDS publishes new tech Code of Practice

A new Technology Code of Practice has been published by the Government Digital Service (GDS) following a two-month consultation with government departments and the wider tech industry.

All government technology services that need Cabinet Office approval will be measured against this new standard, which now includes guidance on accessibility, commercial behaviours and sharing and/or reuse of technology.

GDS said this includes all the technology that allows civil servants to do their jobs, from desktop and mobile devices to the networks that departments use.


New guidance

The new Technology Code of Practice covers the same 14 key areas users of the last standard, published in 2013, which users will be familiar with.

Main changes to the new code include accessibility being made a core component, something GDS said it wanted to achieve when it launched its consultation, while the addition of sharing and reuse of project documentation, such as value chain maps, business cases and job descriptions – central to the GDS reuse aim – is also included.


More to be done

While the new Code has been welcomed by the tech sector, GDS has admitted that there are one or two areas where the guidance could be clearer. These include:

  • More guidance on cloud adoption, to supplement the cloud first policy
  • Help on how to use Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) which will be a key component of the cross-government services we want to see

A GDS spokesperson said ways of improving these areas were already being looked into.

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