Dell Corporation will be paid £820,000 to wind down the Government Gateway citizen identification system, as it is replaced by GOV.UK Verify.
The Department for Work and Pensions has appointed the company to manage and decommission the Government Gateway service by the end of March 2018.
Central government services will migrate to the new GOV.UK Verify system, run in conjunction with private sector partners, over the period of the contract.
The government said: “Awarding the contract to Dell was necessary to support the decommissioning of the legacy Government Gateway service.
“There was no alternative supplier as Dell was the only supplier in the position to provide software support and hardware maintenance provision for the legacy service because the configuration of the service is specific to dedicated hardware devices.”
It said that removing or replacing these devices could cause “unacceptable interoperability issues” for the service, making it unavailable to large number of users.
In addition, a large number of government customers use dedicated devices to support development of their integrating services, so any configuration issues relating to these devices could also impact services.
A statement by Citizen Safe, one of the GOV.UK Verify partners, said: “Government Gateway was a useful way to get access to online government services.
“However, with more and more services shifting to digital, the clunkiness of Government Gateway became apparent.
“Each time anyone wanted to register for a new online service, whether it was for your annual self assessment or to check your driving licence details, you had to have your identity verified.
“This process involved being sent an activation code in the post, which took up to seven days. Then, once you had your activation code, you had to use it within 28 days.”