Editorial

New Date Set For ‘Think Digital Identity For Government’

In light of the calling of an unexpected Snap General Election, we’re moving our Digital ID conference date to Thursday, 13th February

Posted 14 November 2019 by

It was the election the Prime Minister said he didn’t want to hold – but Parliament has spoken.

And while few of us might have chosen to be subjected to six weeks of Winter Electioneering; that’s Democracy!

Photo © 2019, JosephSpear/Mvine

What General Elections immediately enforce, of course, on the public sector is what’s called ‘Purdah’ – the term used to describe the period between the time an election is announced and the date it’s held. 

Civil servants are given official guidance by the Cabinet Office on the rules they must follow in relation to Government business during this time, which centre, ultimately, on the basic principle that they can’t undertake any activity that could “call into question their political impartiality or that could give rise to criticism that public resources are being used for party political purposes”.

So we’re moving our upcoming Think Digital Identity For Government 2019 conference from its scheduled December 5th to our new date of Thursday, the 13th of February.

Why? Because many of our very high-profile confirmed speakers for the event would have been expected to debate things like the future of GOV.UK Verify and other aspects of ID policy and delivery – we can’t really have an empty stage!

We apologise for the inconvenience but hope that this is enough notice for you to adjust your diary and commitments and can come along in February instead.

And in the spirit of accentuating the positive and minimising the negative – a life philosophy we firmly stand by, there are actually some benefits out of the changed date.

As Matt Stanley,  Director of Think Digital Partners, the company that organises the conference, argues, “This moves us closer to the final deadline for transfer of Verify from the public to the private sector, so more clarity will be available over the immediate future shape of the UK Digital ID ecosystem.

“So we’re not happy about having to ask busy people to re-schedule – but we think we will end up with better conversations as a result, potentially.”

Over 150 delegates are already registered from over 40 central and local government Departments and Agencies and we expect most if not all to be able to make the date in 3 months’ time. 

In addition to our excellent speaker line up already confirmed we can now add a few more experts from government and industry for the new February date including:

  • Elizabeth Wilson, Head of Digital Identity at DCMS
  • Mike Nathan, Senior Director at Lexis Nexis Risk Solutions
  • Mike Summers, e-Government Director at Smartmatic
  • Adam Lewis, Founding Director at Hippo Digital
  • Rob Anderson, Principal Analyst at GlobalData.

Other features of the re-arranged event include a really promising ‘super panel’ on the future of ID in the UK including senior movers and shakers from both Whitehall and the ID and security community.

And as a special onsite benefit, we will also be giving out promotional copies of the Think Digital ID Directory – a fantastic resource for both identifying Digital Identity partner suppliers and advertising your expertise in the sector.

If you are one of the 150 already registered, you don’t need to do anything; you will automatically be carried over to the new date. 

It’s the GE none of us wanted, perhaps.

But it’s not one that’s going to stop us giving you the ideal chance to understand where we’ll really going with Identity under a new Government in 2020.

Thanks for your understanding… don’t go to our great venue of One George Street on December 5th, as no-one will be there… and see you on the Thursday, 13th of February instead!