Tax agency first set out plans to decommission outgoing platform eight years ago, but the process of switching over tens of millions of users is now finally ready to begin
HM Revenue and Customs is to shortly begin the process of migrating tens of millions of users of the long-standing Government Gateway platform to Whitehall’s new sign-in system.
The switchover from the outgoing system to GOV.UK One Login – the new government-wide system through which citizens will access services across departments – will begin in “spring”, according to Baroness Vere of Norbiton, a junior minister at HM Treasury.
Since its launch in 2001, more than 50 million accounts have been created on Government Gateway. But only a “small number” of these – including both existing users and new sign-ups – will be moved onto One Login to begin with. From that point, HMRC will then take a gradual approach to migrating others over the course of the coming months.
“From spring 2024 onwards, HMRC will begin to migrate new and some existing Government Gateway customers to GOV.UK One Login,” Vere said, in response to a written parliamentary question from Labour peer Lord Lipsey. “Initially, only a small number of users will be able to access HMRC services through GOV.UK One Login, with volumes building over time. This measured approach is designed to ensure a high quality experience for users as we expand its rollout.”
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The minister added that the new login platform – which is intended to replace not only Government Gateway, but a total of 191 accounts systems currently in use across departments – will deliver significant benefits to users, particularly those with accessibility needs.
“GOV.UK One Login… is the government’s new strategic authentication and identity checking system, operated by the Government Digital Service in Cabinet Office, which is making it easier and faster for users to prove and reuse their identity to access the government services they need,” she said. “Improving accessibility is at the heart of GOV.UK One Login; it offers multiple ways for people to prove who they are, including an in-person option, and a customer support centre to help users with lower digital skills.”
GDS began work on creating the new cross-government sign-in system in 2020. By the end of the following year, the first service – Disclosure and Barring Service checks – began to use the tool as part of its login process. One Login is now user by 11 separate services, and 2.5 million people have already signed up for an account.
The adoption of the tool to replace Government Gateway is set to have a transformational effect on user numbers, which are projected to rise to more than 30 million this year. GDS chief executive Tom Read recently said that “our single biggest priority for 2024 is partnering with HMRC to migrate the millions of Government Gateway users across to our new GOV.UK One Login platform”.
Government’s plan is that all major departments will have adopted the new system by March 2025.
HMRC began the process of decommissioning Government Gateway in 2016, but the tool has remained in use much longer than had been anticipated because the tax agency opted against implementing GDS’s previous attempt to create a new government-wide login tool: GOV.UK Verify.