FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
UK government websites can now be deployed within minutes by re-using the familiar http//gov.uk theme produced by Government Digital Services (GDS) along with Bootstrap technology allowing access from all devices.
The Government has invested a large amount of time and resources in developing their digital services gov.uk theme. By 2014, over 2 years had been spent researching and improving the accessibility of their web interface, providing access to as many people as possible
This effort works towards complying with the Equality Act of 2010. GDS advise "If you exclude anyone from using your service based on disability, you may be in breach of the Equality Act 2010" and specify that "As a minimum, your service must meet Level AA of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0."
In order for other departments to take advantage of this investment, GDS made the decision to share the output of this work
To protect the brand of the gov.uk websites, GDS opted to only allow their typeface to be used on official documents and sites hosted on the http://gov.uk domain
Sharing and re-use of software and technology is high on the agenda of GDS and the government design principles
This principle enabled OpusVL to import the work of GDS and re-factor it in the form of the commonly used Bootstrap framework in addition to the methods originally created by GDS.
OpusVL's Govstrap solution, which has been released as Free and Open Source, will help users in the public sector to cut costs and improve the consistency of its digital footprint while adhering to Open Standards policies when deploying a web site. Govstrap is available for developers to download from the Github repository or can be acquired through the Government Digital Services G-Cloud framework.
Stuart Mackintosh, Managing Director of OpusVL commented "Previously a government department would have to go though the procedure of assessing accessibility needs, deciding on a design, selecting developers to implement the design, in addition to working on their content. As the work has already been done by GDS, it makes sense for this to be re-used rather than paying for a new build, which often would not follow the principles of Open Standards and re-use. What is exciting about GovStrap is that councils and other official government agencies can just take the theme and deploy a professional government-styled website. Govstrap has made a resource draining process quick and simple."
GovStrap was created as a by-product whilst delivering an update to the website for NHS England's Code4Health
The company has also supported the development of the 'custodian' acquisition model to improve access to Free and Open Source technology, where the procurement is for Professional wrap around services such as implementation, training and customisation. OpusVL advocate not only the import, but also the export of Open Source Code across the public sector.
According to Mackintosh, GovStrap offers opportunities for organisations within the public sector, and could even benefit the private sector as well. He concluded: "Govstrap provides the opportunity to improve the quality and accessibility of digital services whilst reducing cost and time, therefore risk, to complete projects."
Established in 1999, OpusVL is a leading Open Source specialist implementer and a leading UK Odoo integration partner. The company works with businesses in both the private and public sectors, implementing business management systems and associated services.
For further information, please contact:-
Editorial Lauren Westley, OpusVL on 01788 298450, or John Edden, Bridge PR & Media Services on 024 76 520025, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tel: 01788 298 450
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