Mike Bracken discussed ‘government as a platform’ in a post on his Government Digital Service blog in March. He explains that the most important lesson learned over the last five years is that siloed approaches to transformation don’t work. Government as a platform envisages having “a common core infrastructure of shared digital systems, technology and processes on which it’s easy to build brilliant, user-centric government services.”
The Cabinet Office has launched www.gov.uk/verify as a platform to prove citizens’ identities when they interact with government online.
When a person logs into the service, they can select a certified company (e.g. Experian) which will check their identity. The process takes around 15 minutes. Once the first check is completed, it will take the company less than a minute to verify that identity the next time a citizen logs on.
The certified company asks a number of security questions, which can only be answered by the identified person, and also sends a code to their mobile which can then be entered online. The Cabinet Office is keen to point out that there is “no central, vulnerable storage of information.” The Government Digital Service is working with departments to find which platforms will have the most impact. Payment processing has already been highlighted as a potential platform and other examples include case management and appointment bookings.