GDS picks Deloitte to develop GOV.UK identity-checking app in £5m deal

Professional services firm chosen to support delivery of software to enable government-wide login system

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Professional services firm Deloitte has been picked to deliver a new multimillion-pound smartphone app that will allow citizens to prove their identity in order to access government services.

The technology will integrate with the wider One Login programme, the aim of which is to provide a single cross-government system offering citizens access to a comprehensive range of services delivered across departments. For the first time, this will include a dedicated GOV.UK app, intended to offer a “one-stop shop” through which users can access hundreds of services.

To support the login system, Deloitte has been retained to deliver a “native mobile app” that can be used to digitally verify users’ identity.

The firm has secured a £4.8m contract that came into effect on 10 February and will last for two years. Over the course of the engagement, the company will be expected to “rapidly onboard resources to meet outcome deliverables” set out in individual statements of work to be issued periodically by the Government Digital Service, which is leading the One Login scheme.

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According to the contract notice published in November, the means of identity verification will rely on the near-field communication technology embedded in most smartphones, which supports mobile payments and scanning of documents containing biometric chips, such as passports. The final app may also incorporate some other forms of biometric authentication, such as facial or fingerprint recognition.

“An important feature of many identity-checking systems is the ability to scan documents using the NFC capability of modern smartphones,” the notice said. “In order to offer a best-in-class identity check to users, GDS will need to incorporate this functionality. GOV.UK is optimised to work well on mobile; in 2020 at least 75% of GOV.UK traffic came via mobile. We must now determine the evolution of this experience, ensuring that GOV.UK continues to offer solutions that are relevant and efficient for all users, including those whose interactions would benefit from being app-based.”

While Deloitte will take on much of the technical workload of building the identity-checking app, the firm will be tasked with helping GDS work towards its longer-term “strategic desire to develop its in-house app development capability by on-boarding and training permanent civil servants to support these products over the long-term”.

The accountancy outfit beat off competition from 20 other bidders for the contract, comprising eight other large firms and 12 SMEs. 


Sam Trendall

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