The Government Digital Service (GDS) has updated its best practices for developers to follow when building APIs for public services.
APIs in public services can improve data sharing between government bodies and provide valuable information to outside parties. They are, of course, subject to strict rules.
The department emphasises the Technology Code of Practice which provides the criteria for designing and building government technology.
Along with following the code of practice, developers must also:
Comply with the Open Standards Principles to ensure software interoperability.
Follow the security guidelines.
Ensure services can scale according to needs and objectives.
Public bodies are asked to make their APIs public by default, and if they’re unable to do so they should email GDS.
GDS was formed by the last Parliament under Prime Minister David Cameron and tasked with leading the digital transformation of the UK government. Last year, the £455 million department came under fire by the National Audit Office (NAO) in a report claiming it has “unclear accountabilities".
Following the NAO’s report, it’s clear the department needs to prove its worth. GDS describes its new best practices as a significant step in improving digital services and reducing costs. The department says it has received early feedback that will prompt the development of further guidance in government API development.
What are your thoughts on GDS’ best practices? Let us know in the comments.