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Officials want more candidates in UK digital ID assessment pilot

Officials want more candidates in UK digital ID assessment pilot

A pilot certification project in the UK for digital ID is being expanded. The government wants to double the number of organizations vying to become conformity assessment bodies.

A Department for Science, Innovation and Technology digital ID and trust pilot has been running for two years in a program for up to six candidates.

Only four slots were filled and now officials want to add four new ID and trust contractors competing to be among the final four companies deemed successful in certifying biometric and other products, services and processes. The four to apply so far are AVID Certification Services, BSI, Kantara and NOA, UKAS records show.

The conformity assessment bodies would use the UK digital ID and attributes trust framework, or UK DIATF, as a metric. DIATF certification has drawn unprecedented market interest, according to British Standards Institute feedback reported in early-2023, when there were 33 products to have received it. The program reached 49 certifications by the end of last year. The DIATF’s impact was lauded by Jumio Digital Identity Chief Philipp Pointner in a Biometric Update guest post last August.

Officials will accept fewer than four finalists, according to bid documents, but a core goal of the program is to provide digital ID and trust companies a choice, in line with ISO 17065 standard, of conformity assessment bodies.

In fact, successful pilot participants will be required to have or to earn ISO 17065 accreditation from a national accreditation body recognized by the International Accreditation Forum.

Officials say they want to have that choice, with finalists authorized by the UK Accreditation Service, available this year. Those companies will be asked to sign a one-year contract to perform the service with an optional year extension.

And they will be awarded only a nominal £1 per year as well as, of course, the government contract.

Bids are required to be made on the UK’s Jaggaer platform by noon February 16.

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