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Three forthcoming government services to use Gov.uk Verify

Government Digital Service is in the process of private beta testing its identity assurance platform with three new central government services

The Government Digital Service (GDS) plans to roll out its Gov.uk Verify platform to three new central government services shortly.

According to an update on its Gov.uk Verify page, the identity assurance platform will “soon” be available for citizens to use to prove their identity for the forthcoming services. 

One of the services will allow applicants to sign a mortgage deed with HM Land Registry. Another will allow NHS staff to view their total reward statement, which sits with the NHS Business Services Authority, and will help them understand the benefits they have access to as an NHS employee. Gov.uk Verify will also be available for citizens wanting to add a pass with their driving licence information to their mobile phones.

The three services are currently in private beta form, so testing is restricted to those invited to take part, and there is no set launch date.

The government’s identity assurance programme has had a tumultuous life so far. Verify was allocated a significant budget in the 2015 spending review and hailed as a flagship project for GDS. In February 2017, the government transformation strategy committed GDS to delivering to 25 million users of Verify by 2020.

However, currently only 15 government services use Verify, not including the three currently in private beta, and less than half (44%) of all users attempting to create a Verify identity are successful. A little over 2.7 million people have registered with Verify, with about 169,000 new users registering in August 2018, meaning it would take more than a decade to reach the 25 million target. 

Last month, Computer Weekly reported that Gov.uk Verify chief Nic Harrison was to leave GDS and return to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Harrison joined GDS on a two-year contract in September 2016 as director of service design and assurance for digital identity, where he was in charge of Verify. As part of his role, Harrison had been leading an effort to review the future of Verify, but GDS has yet to provide details despite widespread calls to clarify the direction of the project.

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