Gov digitisation plans happening too slowly, say IfG policy wonks. Hear that, GDS?

Verify needs to be addressed, Pope is Catholic, etc

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In what might seem like an exercise stating the blindingly obvious, a report by policy wonks at think tank The Institute for Government has found that gov tech transformation is "happening too slowly" and the online identity platform Verify needs some urgently intervention.

The report, Improving the management of digital government, said: “In Whitehall, the role of the Government Digital Service (GDS), which is tasked with leading the digital transformation of government, is contested, and its achievements questioned.

“The spread of new digital services for the public has been slower than planned. And departments resent interference and resist new ways of working. Much remains to be done if the manifesto commitments are to be met and the opportunities of the digital age seized.”

It reached that conclusion after conducting 30 interviews with senior digital and policy officials across Whitehall and the public sector, as well as with vendors to government.

The report called for the government to “urgently clarify” the roles of GOV.UK Verify and the Government Gateway - the identity assurance platforms.

Verify has failed to get off the ground since the Cabinet Office started work on it in 2011. It was due to launch in 2012, but did not do so until 2016. The success rate in verifying individuals is just 43 per cent. In contrast, the current online identity Government Gateway portal has 50 million accounts.

Despite that, the Tories pledged in their manifesto that by 2020 everyone will be able to identify themselves on all government online services via the Verify ID portal.

Since then Cabinet Office Ben Gummer, the man responsible for the manifesto, lost his Ipswich seat. He has been replaced with Damian Green. ®

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