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UK government allocates $5M to retire Verify’s digital ID infrastructure

UK government allocates $5M to retire Verify’s digital ID infrastructure

The UK government has tasked digital identity leader Natalie Jones with the goal of retiring the ill-fated GOV.UK Verify platform by the end of March 2023, Public Technology reports.

The appointment of Jones as senior responsible owner (SRO) was reportedly made official in September 2021, but the letter was only published by the government in the last week of May 2022.

Alongside that document was another, putting Jones in charge of the One Login project, Verify’s SSO (single sign-on) replacement for which full deployment is planned for 2025.

Jones was provided with a £4.1m (roughly US$5.12 million) budget for the retirement of the Verify digital identity service, which stopped accepting new applications on 1 April 2022.

“You have personal responsibility for the retirement of the Verify programme and will be held accountable for the delivery of its objectives, with policy intent and outcomes expected,” the letter reads.

“This encompasses securing and protecting its vision, ensuring that it is governed responsibly, reported on honestly, escalated appropriately and for influencing the context, culture, and operating environment of the programme.”

The document also estimated that 145 central government services will be offered via the One Login digital ID infrastructure, with around 80 of them also adopting its identity verification component.

According to the letters, following the appointments, Jones is expected to allocate roughly 20 percent of her time to retiring Verify, and the remaining 80 percent to the development of One Login.

In both posts, Jones is reporting to Government Digital Service (GDS) chief executive Tom Read, with additional oversight from government efficiency minister Jacob Rees-Mogg and Cabinet Office permanent secretary Alex Chisholm.

GDS has also recently selected professional services firm Deloitte to develop a smartphone app to check individuals’ identities as part of the One Login scheme.

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