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GDS signs £24m worth of contracts for One Login

As the Government Digital Service (GDS) prepares for the official end of Verify, it signs three new contracts for its successor programme, One Login

The Government Digital Service (GDS) has published three contract notices, worth a total of £24m, for its One Login programme.

The One Login identity system will be mandated for use across government departments, and is currently in beta testing with some government services.

This includes the Disclosure and Barring Service, as well as an identity checking app for people with driving licences with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for users of Government Gateway.

GDS has signed two contracts with Deloitte, including a £5m two-year contract for a mobile app delivery partner. While the contract came into force on 1 February 2023, the government published the contract award on 15 March 2023.

Deloitte has also been awarded another two-tear contract as capability delivery partner, which began in December 2022, worth £9.5m. Another contract for a capability delivery partner, also worth £9.5m, was awarded to PA Consulting.

The new contracts come as the government is preparing for the official end of its identity system predecessor, Verify.

The Verify programme, launched in 2013, was originally planned to be a single identity system for every department, with the government aiming for 25 million users.

However, a number of departments refused to use the service, and instead developed their own identity systems. The project also suffered technical difficulties and customers struggled to log on and verify their identity using the Verify service. Verify was originally due to end in April 2020, but due to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, HM Treasury decided to extend funding for a further 18 months to autumn 2021. In April 2021, the government decided to extend the programme for another two years to April 2023.

In its guidance on Verify, the government now states that customers can no longer create a new Verify account or re-register if they have lost access to their account.

Most services have already stopped using Verify, and the only service still using the identity system is the NHS Business Authority for its Total Reward Statement service.

Its successor, One Login, builds on Accounts, a single sign-on system that was billed as a way to deliver more personalised services for users of the website.

While the government is mandating use of the system, it will also be able to coexist with other services, such as HMRC’s Government Gateway service, which, after NHS Login, is the second most used digital identity service in government, with around 16 million registered accounts.

HMRC is planning on begin migrating to One Login during summer 2023, however, as previously reported by Computer Weekly, this is under the caveat that “no migration can occur until the service can meet all of our HMRC requirements to an equivalent or better standards than the existing services”.

In October 2021, GDS secured £400m in funding for One Login, paid across three years, with he understanding that the funding will be based on the progress of the project.

GDS is also developing a app, which will allow users to set up their digital identity and log in from their smartphone by using mobile tools they are already familiar with, such as biometrics and scanning of passport chips.

The new system is being developed in the cloud, running on Amazon Web Services.

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