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UK govt battles dependencies to expand digital identity, single sign-on

UK govt battles dependencies to expand digital identity, single sign-on

The UK government has been building on lessons learned from the old Verify digital ID infrastructure to deliver a more efficient service.

Eighteen months after publishing the Government Digital Service (GDS) strategy in May 2021, the UK administration is now sharing data suggesting the project is moving forward.

More specifically, the digital identity and single sign-on (SSO) service One Login has been developed further. It is still in beta, but the government says the service is “making real progress” through user-centered, agile delivery processes.

The team has also further developed its “digital service platforms,” including GOV.UK Notify, GOV.UK Pay and the GOV.UK Design System.

These, alongside roughly 8,500 other services, may be eventually integrated into GOV.UK Forms, a new “build a service” product.

The tool is designed to enable civil servants in operational and policy roles to remove the unnecessary burden of finding forms from the end-user while also easing manual processing expenses for the government.

“Overall, we have had a successful 18 months, and some of our achievements have gone far beyond what I thought possible,” GDS CEO Tom Read writes on the GOV.UK site.

At the same time, the executive also explains that GDS made less progress than expected in developing “joined-up services that solve whole problems and span multiple departments.”

In fact, while Read says this remains a core mission of GDS, the team encountered more “dependencies” than expected.

“The biggest dependency we discovered was having the GOV.UK One Login service rolled out across more services to enable a persistent, logged-in user journey,” Read says.

In other news, the GDS team has started reintroducing internal communities of practice and expanded teams in Manchester and Bristol. The department also added new talent to its leadership team.

“[We brought] in talent from the private sector, from other parts of government, and by promoting talent from within GDS,” Read explains.

The updates come months after GDS director Natalia Jones published a series of updates specifically concerning the One Login digital ID.

More recently, the GDS has renewed its existing collaboration with Singapore’s GovTech for three more years.

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