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Last updated: 21 Aug 2023


Technical 2nd Line Zendesk tickets are technical errors reported by our users, including government publishers.

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See the Zendesk best practice slidedeck for an overview and tour of the service.

Create an account, then ask a fellow 2nd liner to assign a new ticket to 2nd/3rd Line--Zendesk Administration asking to give you “GDS Resolver Agent” access to 2nd Line--GOV.UK Alerts and Issues.

When you’re logged in, you should be looking at the 2nd Line--GOV.UK Alerts and Issues queue.

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Work on ‘High’ priority tickets first - these will have been triaged by Technical 2nd Line already, so should be relevant and actionable - and start with the oldest by date. If external assistance from outside 2nd line is required, assign them on the ticket and move on to the next ticket (keeping the ticket in the 2nd line queue).

‘Low’ priority tickets are for tickets that are on-hold and are not being actively worked on.

New tickets are ‘Normal’ priority by default and require triaging (i.e. a developer reading and categorising it).

Triaging a ticket

If you have any doubts as to the legitimacy or urgency of a ticket, it should be deferred to the delivery manager or Technical 2nd Line tech lead.

Once you’ve established that a ticket is legitimate, you should follow the process in this diagram.

In all cases, Technical 2nd Line will respond to the ticket, even if it is simply a note to the user saying that you’ve passed their request to the relevant team.

If you are unsure which group to triage a ticket to, you can reassign to 2nd/3rd Line--Zendesk Administration, and they can help route the ticket to the appropriate place.

Below are some of the groups we often triage tickets to:

  • Product requests - 3rd Line--GOV.UK Product Requests
  • Content support - 2nd Line--GOV.UK Content Triage, Gov't
  • GDPR and Privacy enquiries - 3rd Line--GDS Privacy
  • Licensing - 1st Line--Licensing Support
  • Security issues - 3rd Line--Cyber Security
  • Spam - 2nd Line--User Support Escalation
  • Signon issues - 3rd line--GOV.UK Content Training and Accounts

If the ticket’s subject is not descriptive of the problem (e.g. Named contact) then update this prior to triaging or working on the ticket.

Passing to another government department or service team

Sometimes a ticket relates to a service run by another government department. To transfer the ticket:

  • click on Apply macro
  • select Inside government > Pass through
  • select the relevant department or service

Service Level Agreements

GOV.UK have committed to a minimum service level agreement for Technical 2nd Line.

  • 80% of tickets get a first reply to the ticket within 2 working days
  • 80% of general enquiries (public tickets) resolved within 5 working days
  • 70% of department tickets are closed within 5 working days

If the volume of Zendesk tickets is overwhelming, talk to the delivery manager or Technical 2nd Line tech lead for assistance.

Picking up a ticket

Click the “take it” link under “Assignee”, followed by “Submit as Open”, to formally undertake a ticket. If you know you cannot solve a ticket immediately, fill in a “Public reply” to the requester to let them know you’re looking into it.

You can use Internal Notes to keep a log of actions you’ve taken so far: this can make it easier for other staff to pick up where you left off if you’re unable to solve the ticket yourself. Please note that departments can see internal notes, so don’t write anything you wouldn’t say to someone publicly.

If you need more information from the user, fill in the “Public reply” as appropriate and click “Submit as Pending”. tickets

Read Common Technical 2nd Line tasks for, which outlines some of the common (DGU) tickets that come in and how to fix them. For more thorny issues, respond to the user that you are passing this on for further review and assign to the 3rd Line--GOV.UK Product Requests Zendesk group.

DNS delegation tickets

As of October 2022, Technical 2nd line may be asked to process DNS delegation requests. This used to be handled by a dedicated 3rd Line--GDS Reliability Engineering Zendesk queue, which has now been merged into 2nd Line--GOV.UK Alerts and Issues.

The requests will look something like the following:

Please delegate the following to

The workflow for these requests is that a requester emails a particular email address, which creates a Zendesk ticket for the GOV.UK Policy and Strategy team. The request is then signed off and routed to us. We then double-check with someone from GOV.UK Policy and Strategy that the change has been agreed, then add/change the necessary DNS records (see example) and respond to the requestor via the ticket.

Note that some requests come directly via the hostmaster Google group. If you are in any doubt about the legitimacy of a request, reassign the ticket to 3rd Line--Policy and Strategy and add an internal note asking them.

For actioning these requests, read our DNS documentation.

Automated requests from Amazon ACM or AWS Certificate Manager

Please refer to the SRE interruptible documentation.

Leaver tickets

As part of the leaver process, 1st line pass leaver tickets over to us so that we can check if they still have any GOV.UK access.

Search for their name/email in the govuk-user-reviewer repository.

  1. If you find a reference in config/govuk_tech.yml, create a card using the “Leaver (tech role)” template card on the Technical 2nd Line Trello board
  2. If you don’t find a reference - or you find a reference in the govuk_non_tech.yml - create a card using the “Leaver (non tech role)” template card

Add the card to the “To do” column with a due date, which will be the leaving date from the Zendesk ticket.

You can then close the ticket with an internal comment which includes a link to the new Trello card.

Finally, it’s a case of working through the Trello card checklist (on or after the due date), then moving the card to Done.

Closing a ticket

Once you’ve resolved a ticket, click “Submit as Solved”. You do not need to wait for user confirmation to close the ticket.

Tickets left pending without a response

Note that if a ticket has been pending a response for 5 or more days with no response from the requester, you can submit it as solved with a message telling them why and that if they still need help they can get in touch. Do this by clicking the “Apply macro” button at the bottom of the ticket screen, and choosing the “GOV.UK 2nd line tech: pending for 5+ days” option.