Ministry of Justice
The Ministry alongside the Crown Prosecution Service, had started a very ambitious programme to transform the courts and tribunals service with many services to be provided digitally for the first time, and new processes and technology. This was designed to save millions of pounds and free up the courts to speed up the delivery of justice. Key to this work was the ability to develop services in house, rather than giving the work to large outsourcers and to integrate many services to provide a coherent experience for users.
What we did
We were asked to deliver two key parts of the programme; the in house development function and an Identity and Access Management solution that would control all access to developed services and give a common, integrated view of all users across multiple applications.
For the development function we set up a small team to gather requirements from the various stakeholders that would use the proposed environment and worked with external organisations such as the NCSC and the Government Digital Service to examine how the environments could be kept secure. Having agreed the requirements, we managed a market engagement exercise to investigate what potential solutions might be available via the Crown Commercial Services frameworks. This engagement demonstrated that there was no suitable off the shelf solution that could be purchased to meet the agreed user and security needs, so we looked at alternative arrangements.
We wrote an options and recommendations paper for the client, setting out the user needs, what we had learned from the market engagement and made a recommendation, which was accepted, that the solution was to set up a DevOps function, within the MoJ and to procure Infrastructure as a Service from the G Cloud. We wrote role specifications and procured the services of a DevOps team, using CCS frameworks and worked with the team to identify infrastructure requirements, before using the G Cloud framework to procure a suitable IAAS solution. The team that we put together then built the necessary environments, based on the identified needs of the intended users, allowing for maximum flexibility whilst also maintaining control. The environments were then used for continuous integration, testing and hosting of live services for the programme
For the Identity and Access Management service ACUK stood up a small team including an identity and proofing expert, a solution architect and a small number of developers. ACUK identified the potential users and services and undertook extensive user research amongst Civil Servants from the MoJ and the Crown Prosecution Service, the Magistracy, and the Defense Solicitors community, in order to find out what users needed from the service. We also worked with the Government Digital Service to investigate potential solutions for organisational identity verification and how to integrate their Verify service into our solutions.
In-line with GDS guidelines on how to provide the best services for Government the ACUK approach allowed us to create small, highly flexible teams to investigate different potential technologies and to build prototypes in order to test assumptions and designs against user needs, whilst continuing to undertake user research and gather feedback.
After having identified and refined the user needs we managed a managed a procurement exercise and brought on board Kainos and Verizon as development partners to deliver the services. ACUK then changed role from managing the user needs and technology investigation to acting as the Intelligent Customer and managing the suppliers, in order to ensure that services were delivered to time, cost and quality and at the best value for money for the UK Government. Due to the quality of the solutions managed by ACUK the scope of the delivery was expanded to cover not just the Programme, but all Identity and access management across the MoJ.
The Actio Consulting UK Ltd delivery of both the IdAM solution and the implementation of a DevOps function for the programme were both key building blocks for the digital transformation of the Criminal Justice System. The IdAM function allowed for solicitors, defendants, administrators and Civil Servants to securely access information and to provide this in a timely manner to interested parties. The DevOps function provided a secure development environment for all of the other developed solutions and allowed the programme to be far more agile in delivery and operations. Both deliveries enabled many other solutions to be developed that delivered key cost savings and improved services to the public.
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