DWP extends £1m deal to support ‘knowledge-based verification’ for One Login users

Contract awarded to Deloitte earlier this year – to enable users to access login system by cross-referencing government data – is extended for several months at a cost of an extra £330,000

The Department for Work and Pensions has extended a seven-figure deal intended to allow users of the new GOV.UK One Login system to prove their identity by cross-referencing information given against government data.

Earlier this year the DWP, signed a six-month deal with Deloitte to help provide the new government-wide sign-in system with a process in “knowledge-based verification questions” could be used to establish the identity of citizens. The Government Digital Service, which is developing One Login, has previously indicated that it wishes to provide knowledge-based authentication options to help provide access to One Login to those who may not have access to photo identification.

Even for those that can identify themselves using a passport or driving licence, cross-referencing answers given by these users against data held on them by government can also provide an extra layer of security.

The DWP is a major source of data on citizens and, according to commercial documents published by the department online, GDS is keen to work with agencies that can help provide information that can support knowledge-based processes for One Login.

“GDS is seeking to work with other government departments to strengthen the availability of different options [or] challenges they can present customers to enable them to pass online identity checks,” a contract notice said. “GDS want to consume knowledge-based verification questions from the DWP, and this opportunity will deliver on behalf of DWP into GOV.UK Login.”

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The commercial opportunity in question – which was originally slated to conclude on 21 November – will now run until 1 March. As a result of this extension, the value of the deal will grow by almost £330,000 to a total of more than £1.4m.

The DWP has retained existing supplier Deloitte to support the conclusion of the KBV work because “additional services [from] the original contractor have become necessary and were not included in the initial procurement, but where a change of contractor cannot be made for economic or technical reasons… [and] would cause significant inconvenience or substantial duplication of costs”, according to the latest commercial update published on GOV.UK.

The services in question constitute “additional unforeseen development work required to complete the knowledge-based verification solution build”, the notice added.

According to a timeline published by GDS over the summer, the DWP is expected to begin implementing One Login as the means to access its services from around the end of this year onwards. The department’s adoption of the new government-wide sign-in system will be a major contributor to a massive growth in sign-ups during 2024, with ministers recently predicting that user numbers will grow from 2.5 million to 30 million over the course of the year.

Sam Trendall

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