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DWP seeks data for identity verification service

Will pay supplier up to £2m for collection of benefit claimants' info

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The Department for Work and Pensions has published a tender worth up to £2m for the supply of biographical data to identity online benefit claimants.

The chosen supplier will provide biographical data to supplement information already available to the department, according to a notice published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 26 January.

It says that the two-year contract is part of the DWP's Automated Service Delivery (ASD) project and that a solution is needed to "successfully support all customers to use a remote service".

"This will support the ASD target of 80 per cent of DWP customers going on to self-serve using remote channels. DWP therefore needs access to sufficient biographical data to allow customers to provide the necessary assurance as to their identity. Without such data, DWP will be unable to support remote identity verification tests for sufficient customers to meet self service requirements," says the notice.

Phases one and two of the project will involve changing the circumstances functionality for existing Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) claimants, who should have enough data available in DWP data sources to allow an identity verification biographical match.

The third phase, scheduled to begin in January 2012 phase, includes the delivery of functionality to support new JSA claims. Analysis of JSA claims data by the department suggests that 31 per cent of new claimants, which amounts to 628,000 annually, are unlikely to have enough data available for an internal biographical match.

"Given the limitations of DWP data for this customer group, an alternative way of authenticating customer's identity will be required to obtain a biographical match utilising external data sources," explains the notice.

From April 2012, online state pension claims will also be included in the requirement.

As part of its fraud and error strategy, the DWP has a growing requirement to verify client information and provide a client risk profile. It said that access to data held by third parties is required to substantiate information supplied by its clients either in real time or near real time across a number of benefits.

This article was originally published at Kable.

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