MOJ: The Journey To Three Live Exemplars

Sep 30, 2014

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has claimed its journey towards the government’s “digital by default” standard has been successful so far.

As part of its digital transformation, Whitehall is attempting to make its 25 largest transactional services “digital by default” or, online public services so good, people prefer to use them.

Such services are known as exemplars and four of these exemplar services are housed within the MoJ.

Lasting power of attorney (LPA), prison visit booking and civil claims are live, while apply to an employment tribunal is in public beta.

“We went from not having any exemplars to having three exemplars live today. We’re very proud of that,” he claimed.   

Before an exemplar service can be used by all UK citizens, it must pass through the alpha and beta (public and private) stages before going live.

At last week’s Whitehall Media CGBT event, MoJ chief digital officer (CDO) Paul Shetler explained how his Department has been moving towards digital by default.

According to Shetler, it was essential to set timescales that were both humanly possible but enabled people to use their time in a way that was productive as possible, allowing maximum quality of work in a short time period.

Besides this, the CDO claimed success was made possible because he chose to work with policy colleagues from the very beginning.

“We have all this old legislation, old policy, we’ve also procedures, old systems, whatever you want to call it,” Shetler claimed.

He added that exemplar services need to be based around user needs, but it is important not to forget what the government needs as well.

Quality Needs To Start Within

It was also important for Shetler that his staff had access to high-standard technology. He claimed that because inside users’ work serves the public, they must be able to do their jobs properly.

“You gave to have your own in-house capability. You have to have the ability to deliver, your own designers research, your own product managers,” the CDO claimed.

“If MoJ had not had that we would not have been able to deliver, it just would not have worked. That has been absolutely essential to our success,” he added.

Shetler claimed that “no one goes to the MoJ for happy, positive reasons” and his Department’s customers cannot simply choose another government and that is why the digital journey has been so important.


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