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Identity Assurance gets closer to market

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As more and more government services are being provided online, it is becoming increasingly important to have a simple and user-friendly way for users to assert their identity in order to access these services. This access should be consistent across government, secure and able to preserve users' privacy. A cross-Government approach to identity assurance took a major step towards market this week with the issue of an Invitation to Tender for one of the Government's key digital services.

The Identity Assurance Programme within Government Digital Service (GDS) is working to optimise the way users can assert their identities to access government services. Government recognises that it is not necessarily best placed to design every detail of the ID assurance process, and will use the services of private sector ID providers (IDPs) to ensure that there is a simple, user-friendly and effective way for the users of government services to assert their identities.

Identity Assurance for Universal Credit

With support from the GDS Identity Assurance team, the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) is procuring a framework of suppliers from which to appoint the services of private sector IDPs. This is building on the high level service description developed by the Cabinet Office in open consultation with the private sector and on the intensive development work carried out by DWP for Universal Credit. Universal Credit is the Government's major benefits reform programme designed to make the benefit system simpler and clearer for recipients, and to make work pay.

Universal Credit-21st Century Welfare

DWP and Cabinet Office have been working closely for several months now, determining the specific requirements from prospective IDPs that will meet the needs of Universal Credit and other government services. The contract notice for this procurement was published on 1st March 2012 and Good Practice Guides were published earlier this month. A selection of potential suppliers has passed the Pre-Qualification Questionnaire stage of the procurement and they were issued yesterday with the Invitation to Tender (ITT) documents.

The tendering process will run for several weeks and is expected to report successful bidders in September 2012.

Issuing the ITT is a major step forward as it is the first time that the initial requirements for a cross-government approach to ID assurance have been set out in a departmental procurement for multiple suppliers. It is a clear indication to prospective suppliers that government has a real proposition for developing a market of IDPs. It will also provide a working platform for further refinement of the ID provider service, based on real user experience of a flagship government service.

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  1. Comment by Potential identity assurance suppliers receive invitation to tender - Government Tenders, Government News and Information - Government Online posted on

    [...] In a blog post on the Government Digital Service site, the Cabinet Office’s identity assurance team said the programme had moved a step closer to market after a selection of possible suppliers passed the pre-qualification questionnaire part of the procurement and got to the ITT stage. [...]

  2. Comment by Saul Cozens posted on

    Are you able to reveal a list of the organisations who got through the PQQ stage?

  3. Comment by Cabinet Office eID follows Quarkside? « Quarkside posted on

    [...] the scheme be ready in time for Universal Credit with sufficient trust in electronic [...]

  4. Comment by Identity Assurance goes to Washington | Government Digital Service posted on

    [...] Chris set out what we are doing in the UK, summarised by the phrase ‘easier done than said’. We’ve been talking about the theoretical benefits of ‘federated trust’ in the UK for a very long time. Our intention is to demonstrate the benefits over the next months through practical application in public service transactions such as the DWP’s Universal Credits. [...]

  5. Comment by Cheap Accountant posted on

    It would be useful to know the results of the tendering process is this is possible? Thanks.

    • Replies to Cheap Accountant>

      Comment by steve posted on

      Yes, the results of the tender will be shared when the process is complete and contracts have been signed.

  6. Comment by Richard Grant posted on

    Is this a closed tender, special invitation and qualification required?

    • Replies to Richard Grant>

      Comment by steve posted on

      The opportunity to respond to this tender has now passed. A standard procurement process has been followed with the OJEU noticed openly published on 1st March 2012 - see link in blog text - and invitations to tender issued to those organisations that responded to this notice and subsequently came successfully through the pre-qualification questionnaire stage.

  7. Comment by Paul Clarke (@paul_clarke) posted on

    Can you provide a link to the high level service description you refer to above? My attempts at searching for it have only resulted in me finding related posts on this blog.

    • Replies to Paul Clarke (@paul_clarke)>

      Comment by steve posted on

      Apologies for not responding sooner. The high level service description is currently only available as a pdf. I'll ask Louise Kidney to send you a copy.



  8. Comment by billsproul posted on

    Your announcement is dated today 25/05/2012. The only trendier in TED is the following

    As you can see this tender closed on the 13th of March 2012.

    Is there another tender?

    • Replies to billsproul>

      Comment by steve posted on

      No, there isn't another tender. Our blog relates to the invitation to tender (ITT) that has been issued to organisations that responded to the OJEU notice you have found, and subsequently passed the pre-qualification questionnaire.

  9. Comment by billsproul posted on

    Where can i find the details of the tender?

    • Replies to billsproul>

      Comment by steve posted on

      Details will be available on Contracts Finder shortly.