Editorial

GDS signs contract extensions with Digidentity and Post Office for new Verify sign-ups

The £5 milion contract extensions with support new sign-ups to Verify until April 2022

Posted 9 June 2021 by

The UK Government Digital Service (GDS) has signed contract extensions worth more than £5 million with Digidentity and Post Office to support new user sign-ups to GOV.UK Verify for another year.

The contract extension will allow the two partners of the Verify identity-assurance platform to offer the creation of new user identities until April 2022.

In April, the UK government announced plans to spend about £11 million per year to support the maintenance of the Verify identity-assurance platform until April 2023.

Digidentity has secured two expansion and variation contracts worth £1.7 million and £191,494 and Post Office has signed two contracts worth £2.94 million and £328,134.

Public Technology reports that all four contracts came into effect on March 24, 2021. 

It says each covers “extending the issuance periods during which the provider will continue to create new digital identities to the required level of assurance”, as well as “increasing the prices payable for the first assurance of a new user’s identity”.

Verify offers two levels of assurance; the price for creating new identities at the lower-level LoA1 is redacted from the contracts but, for the higher LoA2 level, the two providers will be paid £6.50 for each new identity created, according to procurement documents.

The deals also address “making provision for the transfer of copies of the user data and trust from the provider to the authority before the end of the contracts”. 

To support this transfer, Digidentity and Post Office must offer users logging into their account an option to provide consent to their data being transferred to GDS. The companies must also enable the digital agency to notify users that they will need to agree to such a transfer before the April 2022 cut-off if they wish to continue to use their Verify account beyond that date.

Verify’s successor

The successor to Verify is a new single sign on (SSO) and digital identity assurance system working title of ‘One Login for Government’. It is scheduled to pilot with a small number of government services by next Spring.

Last year the Cabinet Office’s own annual report said Verify “continued to pose notable risks”, as it struggled to cope with demand for digital services in the early stages of lockdown.