Editorial

Defra looks to build out single identity service

Defra is working with Condatis to extend a single-sign on identity system across all of its services

Posted 22 June 2022 by Christine Horton


The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is to extend a single sign-on identity system across all of its services.

In the lead up to Brexit, Defra had to start building five new services to replace key European services. As part of that it built a single identity system for users to log-in across any of those services. Its plan now is to extend that reusable single identity login-in across the organisation.

“We’ve got the core service, which we’ve proven was working, but key now is how can we extend it?” said Tim Skaptason, enterprise architect at Defra. What do we have to do to review it to make it more extensible and more available across Defra services?”

Partnership with Condatis

Skaptason was speaking at the Think Digital Identity for Government event in London and online, alongside Condatis CEO, Chris Tate.

Defra has been working closely with the identity specialist through the design and development period, said Tate.

One of the biggest challenges facing Defra has been that 80% of its transactions are related to businesses rather than individual citizens. The organisation has to ensure that whichever individuals were logging into a service on behalf of that business has the right to do so. This also applies to agents working on behalf of businesses.

Defra also had siloed delivery teams and programmes, which are all building their own capabilities.

Nevertheless, it now has four services up and running and is in the process of onboarding another three major programmes, with another 30 new digital potential digital services.

“It was about how we then scale out what we’ve already built and prove the concept of how you delegate authority, how you manage business relationships. And so the work we’ve started doing with Condatis was looking at scaling out of that capability,” said Skaptason.

Register here to hear the plans in full – plus have access to a host of other private and public identity experts – at the Think Digital Identity for Government on-demand.