GDS calls for councils to apply for local Verify pilots

Written by Rebecca Hill on 9 September 2016 in News
News

The Government Digital Service has set out the requirement for councils wanting to join the first pilots of the local version of its identity assurance scheme, for older people’s concessionary travel and parking permits.

The first Verify pilots will be on parking permits and discounted travel - Photo credit: Matt Foster

GOV.UK Verify allows certified companies to check a person’s identity using payment histories, such as mortgages or credit checks, and photographic ID, so that citizens get a single sign-on for a range of government services.

GDS has been working up plans to trial Verify at a local level for some months, including a number of discovery events held with interested authorities.

These events, which were held in association with the Drivers and Vehicles Licensing Agency, and a consultation were used to choose the areas to focus on in the pilots.


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GDS said that older people’s concessionary travel and residents’ parking permit services were chosen because a lot of councils want to transform them and they would both benefit from Verify.

Now, it has released a set of requirements and a timeline that councils wanting to participate have to commit to.

“We’re asking a lot of questions up front,” the team said in a blogpost. “This is because it’s important to make sure that those who invest their time and effort in piloting GOV.UK Verify will have the capacity to maintain it, and be able to use it as a tool for transforming other council services afterwards.”

Councils in the scheme will have to demonstrate there is senior buy-in for the project and commit to providing a council team dedicated to the project with relevant technical and customer services staff. In additon, they have to work to common GDS service standards and agree to use a transparent, open approach to design.

GDS will support the project in-kind by offering technical guidance, business case support, service design and user research.

In addition, GDS said that it would be providing GOV.UK Verify accounts for private beta for free – however, it noted that the eventual aim was to develop a commercial model.

Councils have to complete the application form by 26 September and GDS said it would be in touch with successful applicants in early October. 

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