The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has begun the creation of a new identity and trust platform.
Named the Dynamic Trust Hub it will consist of a number of interoperable services linked by common concepts and stands, rather than a single solution, aimed at providing secure verification of people’s identities.
The project, indicated in a procurement notice from the DWP, reflects its desire to deal with more benefits claimants online.
It also effectively raises further doubts about the future use of the GOV.UK Verify service in central government. It states specifically that the aim is to “reduce reliance on current identity solutions”, although it does emphasise the need to protect the prevailing success rates of the solutions.
The team has already held early market engagements and is now looking for a supplier to work with agile teams in DWP Digital on product ownership, business analysis, user research and delivery management.
Five products are already at various stages of development to provide part of the desired capabilities, which include: credentials and authorisation; identify verification; transaction monitoring and behavioural risking; and fraud and error prevention.
The DWP’s responses to questions on the procurement notice indicate that it will retain the use of Verify and other GOV.UK services, but the fact it is planning for alternatives suggests it is not intending to rely heavily on the platform.
Verify has been developed by the Government Digital Service (GDS) for use throughout the public sector, but the take-up since its launch has been disappointing. It was forecast that 25 million people would be using the platform by 2020, but by March of this year the figure was only 3.9 million. Also, while it predicted that at least 46 government services would use Verify by March 2018, the total stood at just 19 a year later.
In recent months the programme has been the subject of highly critical reports by the National Audit Office and Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee, and in October of last year GDS passed responsibility for increasing Verify’s use to the private sector providers, with an indication that it will receive no more financial support from the end of this financial year.
Image from purplejavatroll, CC BY-SA 2.0