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GDS aims to get 37 more services on Verify



Programme team projects registration of up to 2 million identities for online identity assurance service in the next year

Talks are under way to move a further 37 central government services onto GOV.UK Verify, joining the 10 that had taken it up as part of the formal launch of the service last week.

The programme team has also projected that the number of people verified for the service will rise from the existing 530,000 to anything between 750,000 and 2 million in the next year.

Verify, developed by the Government Digital Service (GDS), officially went live on 24 May following a four-year development process.

It provides a mechanism for individuals to prove they are who they claim to be when transacting with government online. One of eight certified companies carries out the original authentication of their identity, then provides the confirmation to a service provider through a central hub when requested.

The figures on projected take-up are included in the monthly update on the programme. Team member Jess McEvoy says that 18 services are in the process of onboarding to Verify, and that others are at earlier stages of doing so.

Of the 18, there are projected connection dates for 12, stretching from June of this year for a pilot involving NHS Liverpool Commissioning Group, to unspecified dates next year for several others. All except the Liverpool NHS pilot are central government services, including online bankruptcy declarations to the Insolvency Service, signing mortgage deeds for the Land Registry and activating the state pension with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Local pilots

The update says the Verify team are also working with some local authorities and healthcare services on a number of pilots to explore their potential to use the service.

It adds that the projected numbers on identities to be registered is so wide because of a range of variables, including the timing and extent of adoption for different services, and the take-up of services by the public.

The post provides evidence of the sustained intent of GDS to promote take-up of Verify, although there have been signs of some Whitehall departments believing it will have limitations. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has confirmed it is working on its own online authentication service to replace the Government Gateway, and there have been reports of the DWP working on its own tool.

However, both departments are among those that have made some services available to Verify users in the first tranche: five from HMRC and two from DWP.

Image from GOV.UK, Open Government Licence v3.0

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