GDS and councils to showcase joint work on local Verify service

Written by PublicTechnology staff on 4 September 2017 in News
News

Leeds and London events set to show councils the result of collaborative work on identity assurance platforms

The Government Digital Service is taking its flagship public sector identity assurance platform on the road as two key local pilots enter the beta phase.

GOV.UK Verify is one of several platforms being developed by GDS as part of its Government-as-a-Platform strategy, which sees the central government team build platforms that have the potential to be used by any public sector organisation.

The platform aims to make it much easier for citizens to prove who they are online, cutting out the use of face-to-face or postal identity verification and reducing the number of times a citizen has to separately prove who they are to different government organisations.


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Verify’s use is mainly restricted to central government departments at present, and it currently features in transactions including checking income tax with HM Revenue and Customs and viewing state pension entitlement with the Department for Work and Pensions.

But in October last year GDS began work with a number of local councils - dubbed the ‘Local Digital Coalition’ - on two pilot Verify services. 

The concessionary travel services pilot has seen GDS work with Buckinghamshire County Council, the London Borough of Camden and Northumberland County Council to make it easier for local residents to apply for a concessionary travel pass.

Meanwhile, the team has also been working with Buckinghamshire and local authorities in Cambridgeshire, Northumberland, Oxfordshire, Southampton, Sunderland and Tunbridge Wells to simplify the way residents make a first time application for a parking permit.

As PublicTechnology reported earlier this year, a number of councils who originally signed up to the two Verify pilots have since dropped out, citing satisfaction with their current services. However, after carrying out more than 200 user research interviews, GDS has now announced that it is to launch both services in private beta, and is holding two events to update councils and suppliers on the progress of Verify Local and sell the benefits of other GDS platforms.

The two full-day events will take place at Leeds Town Hall and London’s Friends House, with GDS saying it will use the sessions to showcase the new services in private beta for the first time and talk councils through its working, including by sharing prototypes, user research and business case findings. 
 
“The event will be a great opportunity to hear from council pilot participants themselves about their experience so far, hear about other work GDS is doing, and have a chat with like-minded people about service transformation and identity assurance in local government,” GDS said.
 
GDS also promises to talk councils through other centrally-designed services that may be of use to local authorities, including the Digital Marketplace service for streamlining procurement and GOV.UK Notify, which proactively updates citizens on key public service information or the progress of their applications.

The Leeds event is set to take place on September 13, while the London day is slated for October 2. Those interested in attending should visit the GDS page on Eventbrite.

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