24 representatives from 18 councils attended the second GDS GOV.UK Verify workshop for local authorities on 19th April 2016, hosted in Warwick. The aims of these workshops were described in a previous news item. This latest event was a great opportunity to get feedback from a wider range of councils (London Boroughs, Boroughs, Metropolitan Boroughs, Counties, and Unitaries) on their priorities and capacity to adopt GOV.UK Verify.


The councils present reiterated that there is a real need for a highly assured online citizen identity. Priority service areas needing a solution include social care, housing and Counter Fraud. A number of councils are already delivering or working on “my account” facilities. There was a lot of interest in being able to access attributes from the DWP and HMRC to answer benefit eligibility questions, from the DVLA to answer transport related questions, and from Health to improve integration with Social Care. Access to Home Office attributes would also help councils in their roles as employers and landlords.


There are clearly opportunities to engage with suppliers of systems into the local government market to ensure they understand and can prepare themselves for integrating with GOV.UK Verify. With CRM systems, for example, there was a lot of commonality of suppliers across the local authorities present.
The feedback from these workshops will help GDS come up with the most appropriate model for delivering identity assurance to local authorities. At this early stage in the engagement it is too soon to say what that model might look like. Until a model chosen, potential take-up gauged, and various other issues factored in it is impossible to answer the $64,000 question “how much will it cost my local authority to use GOV.UK Verify”.



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