This post provides an update on the work that local authorities and GDS have done together through the Open Identity Exchange (OIX) on citizen identity needs for local authority services.
We first started working on this in 2013. Much of this work has focused on how a service like GOV.UK Verify could be used to let users consent to eligibility checking between local and central government as part of a local authority service. This is often referred to as attribute exchange.
For users, this would mean only having to prove your identity once and then being able to re-use your account for any online government or local government service that required it. That single, highly assured identity could be used to establish trust, allowing users to confirm their information between organisations to deliver services more effectively.
Most recently, OIX has enabled local authorities and GDS to explore services such as disabled parking permits through an alpha project. Proving your identity with GOV.UK Verify for this service allows you to consent to local authorities seeking a simple yes/no answer from other parts of government to vouch that you are entitled to a blue badge. This eliminates the need for a user to gather the paper-based evidence and forms from across government to prove their identity and eligibility. It’s simpler and quicker. It also benefits local authorities by reducing the time they have to spend processing paper forms.
Warwickshire County Council, working with private sector partners, built a working prototype which was tested by users over an intensive 3-day period and was iterated between research sessions. We now want to take the prototype from alpha to private beta - a live service with invited users - in Warwickshire as a collaborative pilot to test GOV.UK Verify in a local authority context.
GOV.UK Verify was built against standards that are intended to apply to the wider public sector, not just central government, so we’re interested to learn about how GOV.UK Verify might be used by local authorities. This will be one of a series of pilots GDS wants to kick off with local authorities this year to understand more about the potential application of GOV.UK Verify for local authority services. Piloting will allow us to understand how GOV.UK Verify can meet local authority services’ citizen identity needs.
If you’re a local authority and interested in finding out more or have an idea for a pilot please contact us through this short survey.