Editorial

GDS: We’re putting Digital Identity at the heart of Government IT

Data, Digital Identity, security, legacy IT and user experience set out at Sprint19 as the basis for Service’s work over the next ten years

Posted 23 September 2019 by

The Government Digital Service plans to put Digital Identity at the centre of its activities between now and 2030, according to its Interim Head, Alison Pritchard.

Speaking at high-level government IT discussion day ‘Sprint 19‘ last week, Pritchard made a speech identifying ID as one of the ‘five pillars’ of core activities her team see as the basis for their work.

That means Digital Identity would be seen as as important as security, legacy IT and user experience.

GDS’s Alison Pritchard: “Government in 2030 will be joined up, trusted and responsive to user needs.”

Why that matters: Pritchard, in a conscious call back to previous commitments by her predecessor Kevin Cunnington as well as other Government past statements, says GDS will strive to offer “ubiquitous Digital Identity across government services”.

GDS is continuing to work in the sector, she told delegates, before mentioning the 5 million sign-ups for GOV.UK Verify platform and on-going GDS-Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on identifying the next steps for Digital ID.

Pritchard’s public commitment to ID, despite all the perceived failure of Verify, will strike many UK Digital Identity community observers as significant.

However, it must be noted that of equal importance are the other pillars, especially use of government data.

For example, she was preceded on stage by Cabinet Office Minister Oliver Dowden, who told the audience, “Over the next year we want to bring together different parts of government involved in delivering services, incorporating digital and policy teams across government to bring services, data and information into one seamless user journey.

“We are now fixing this siloed data once and for all to get better insights into how people are interacting with government online to help us achieve that transformation.”

In any case, for Pritchard, “Government in 2030 will be joined up, trusted and responsive to user needs.”