Now I am 5

The Government Gateway is 5 today, Burns Night. When we started work on delivery in October 2000, we figured we could get everything live in time for 25th January, picking it at least partly because the Minister for the Cabinet Office was, at the time, Ian McCartney. I remember him saying that non-delivery would be a “resignation matter” – I had no problem with that, and told him so – although he clarified that it would be him that would be resigning, not me.

According to the stats as of the end December 2005, there are now 102 services live on the Gateway with another 23 in the immediate pipeline. Over 8,750,000 transactions have completed in the last 5 years. That’s nowhere near the total that I expected or, I imagine, that anyone else had in mind. In the past, I’ve speculated on why that might be, as have others who occasionally comment on the posts here. It needs more thinking.

Still, volumes this year are up on last year. Word has it that Self Assessment will be up somewhere between 30% and 50% and, with the accountants submissions, HMRC may well hit 25% of total submissions received electronically. That would be a pretty good achievement – short of the 50% target that they had in mind for now, but nonetheless impressive. Self Assessment has, as far as I know, been out of the news for the last year too (famous last words?), perhaps displaced by tax credit fraud stories.

Happy Birthday Gateway. Five years old in this world of many failed government IT projects is an impressive achievement. The dedication from the team shines through at every level. Congratulations.

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