Warwickshire plans trial with local residents drawing on Government’s online identity assurance platform
Warwickshire County Council is planning to be the first local authority to use the GOV.UK Verify platform in supporting its application scheme for Blue Badge parking permits.
It is ready to invite residents to take part in a three-month private beta trial of its scheme, beginning early next year, which will involve using Verify as the identity assurance mechanism.
Project leader Ian Litton told UKAuthority that the council intends to invite between 600-700 residents to take part, all existing Blue Badge holders whose eligibility is up for renewal. It will ask the applicants to register on Verify and, when it has authenticated their identity, use benefits information to confirm their eligibility.
“The key thing Verify does is establish a trust anchor,” Litton said. “We can be sure we're dealing with the right person online. It’s consent driven data sharing.”
He added: “Hopefully we will learn some positive lessons on the back of this. It’s interesting for Verify in that it will be getting out in the field in a local government context.”
The move comes soon after the Government Digital Service (GDS) announced plans for two pilots for using Verify in local government services – in issuing passes for older people’s concessionary travel, and issuing regular parking permits to residents – with 19 councils signed up to take part.
Litton said the Warwickshire trial is running outside the Verify Local workstream, and there are differences between its trial and the two pilots, which will make direct use of the platform to authenticate applicants’ identities.
Warwickshire has been working on the Blue Badge potential since before Verify Local’s launch, but has been collaborating with GDS, notably in the onboarding process for local government. It recently passed gate three, which gives it access to the Verify integration environment and enables it to carry out technical integration tests.
It plans to make the information that comes from this available to the councils taking part in the Verify Local pilots.
Verify was developed initially for central government services, and went live for the first group in May, but in recent months GDS has been working with councils on extending its availability to local government.
Last week, the local programme’s lead Linda O’Halloran said it is working on a common service design approach and looking at how it could make the security, legal and commercial aspects relevant to local authorities.