Thursday, 22 September 2016

RIP IDA – the Post Office

No need to say it, it goes without saying, it should be obvious to all but,
just in case it isn't obvious to all,
IDA is dead.

IDA, now known as "GOV.UK Verify (RIP)",
is the Cabinet Office Identity Assurance programme.
We have seen how Digidentity, one of the Government Digital Service's "identity providers" can unilaterally revoke your on-line GOV.UK Verify (RIP) identity. In GDS's projected digital-by-default internet era world, with no on-line identity you won't exist.

We have seen how users of GOV.UK Verify (RIP) who registered with Barclays may find it impossible to access public services.

Cassidian, Ingeus, Mydex, PayPal and Verizon have all pulled out as "identity providers" to GOV.UK Verify (RIP).

Who does that leave?

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

RIP IDA – Ingeus, Cassidian, Mydex, Paypal, Verizon, Digidentity and Barclays

No need to say it, it goes without saying, it should be obvious to all but,
just in case it isn't obvious to all,
IDA is dead.

IDA, now known as "GOV.UK Verify (RIP)",
is the Cabinet Office Identity Assurance programme.
We have seen how Digidentity, one of the Government Digital Service's "identity providers" can unilaterally revoke your on-line GOV.UK Verify (RIP) identity. In GDS's projected digital-by-default internet era world, with no on-line identity you won't exist.

In the remaining months of your existence, let's take a look at the other "identity providers". Are they behaving like Digidentity?

Ingeus – one of GDS's early "identity providers", they never provided anyone with a GOV.UK Verify (RIP) on-line identity. Ditto Cassidian. And Mydex. And PayPal. They all pulled out before they could do any harm. Verizon stayed a while, but now they, too, have pulled out. So that's five "identity providers" we don't need to worry about.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

RIP IDA – agile identity, now you are you, now you're not

No need to say it, it goes without saying, it should be obvious to all but,
just in case it isn't obvious to all,
IDA is dead.

IDA, now known as "GOV.UK Verify (RIP)",
is the Cabinet Office Identity Assurance programme.
"Congratulations!", they said in the email, "You have completed the registration process":


There he was, DMossEsq, all kitted up with a brand new on-line identity, provided by GOV.UK Verify (RIP) via Digidentity, one of the Government Digital Service's "identity providers".

Digidentity had collected all the details of DMossEsq's passport and driving licence, among other things, and here they were confirming that he is him, the person he claims to be. "Your registration has been completed" – that's what the email says. And polite to a fault, Digidentity even said: "Thank you for registering".

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Ruminating about process

It's over two years since we looked at the achievements of the Government Digital Service (GDS). It looked to us then as though the big achievers digitalwise were not GDS at all, despite their noisy claims, but Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

GDS aim one day to deliver something called "Government as a Platform (GaaP)". They have a publishing platform and a performance platform already up and running. They're working on at least three other platforms:
  • GOV.UK Verify (RIP) is meant to be a standard cross-government platform for identity assurance.
  • GOV.UK Notify is meant to be a standard way for government to send texts, emails and letters.
  • GOV.UK Pay is meant to be a standard way for government to collect payments.

Friday, 16 September 2016

Why no-one can devise @gdsteam's strategy

“It reminds me of that old joke – you know, a guy walks into a psychiatrist's office and says, hey doc, my brother's crazy! He thinks he's a chicken. Then the doc says, why don't you turn him in? Then the guy says, I would but I need the eggs.

Last heard, the Government Digital Service (GDS) were due to publish their strategy yesterday, 15 September 2016. That was the deadline. Not for the first time, they missed it.

Instead of a strategy explaining what GDS are going to do with £450 million we were treated to a press release, Government Digital Service announces plans to run a national digital academy, which includes this:
GDS director general Kevin Cunnington said:

" More and more we are going to make the work from GDS about transformation - not just digital.

" We have a superb team and I want our UK strategy to not only reflect the bold ambition that we have across Government, but the new challenges that now face us. We will have an updated and complete Digital Transformation Strategy before the end of the year."
What's all this about "the new challenges that now face us"?

According to the press release:
The Government’s Digital Transformation Strategy is also going to be updated to match the new and larger remit of GDS and to take into account the EU referendum vote and the challenges that the Civil Service now face.
Someone would have us believe that GDS, who couldn't even computerise farm payments, have a transformative rôle to play in bringing about the UK's exit from the European Union.

You may find that unlikely ...

Monday, 5 September 2016

RIP IDA – "wildly unrealistic expectations"

No need to say it, it goes without saying, it should be obvious to all but,
just in case it isn't obvious to all,
IDA is dead.

IDA, now known as "GOV.UK Verify (RIP)",
is the Cabinet Office Identity Assurance programme.
And it's dead.

"If Verify is the answer, what was the question?"

Take a look at New GOV.UK Verify [RIP] chief sets out stall after departure of Janet Hughes. That's a Civil Service World (CSW) article, 23 August 2016, and there's something in there for everyone.

"If there's a tricky job facing the Government Digital Service (GDS), or indeed an impossible job, what do they do? Call for Janet Hughes". That's what we said. Several times. Now the heroic Janet has left GDS.

Can she be replaced?

Saturday, 3 September 2016

GDS, the data centre for government

"The Government Digital Service [GDS] is the digital, technology and data centre for government ... Over the next 5 years, together with departments, we will be building new digital, technology and data platforms for the whole of government ... We will make better use of data to drive continuous improvement, ensure government has the right technology and that spending is controlled".

That's what it says in the job description for a new head of service design required at GDS. You've got until 13 September 2016 to apply.

Saturday, 27 August 2016

GDS & the banshees 3


The system is not set up to do stuff.
It’s set up, frankly,
to have an intellectual pissing match
around how its things should be.


On 1 August 2016 one man replaced another man as head of the Government Digital Service (GDS). Kevin Cunnington came. Stephen Foreshew-Cain left. People come and people go. It's not unusual but on this occasion there was an exorbitant keening and wailing and moaning from an international class of banshees.

The banshees failed to make it clear why they were upset. What would it matter if GDS had its terms of reference changed? Transformation begins at home. Come to that, what would it matter if GDS disappeared? The banshees couldn't tell us.

Monday, 22 August 2016

GDS & the banshees 2


The system is not set up to do stuff.
It’s set up, frankly,
to have an intellectual pissing match
around how its things should be.


On 1 August 2016 one man replaced another man as head of the Government Digital Service (GDS). Kevin Cunnington came. Stephen Foreshew-Cain left. People come and people go. It's not unusual but on this occasion there was an exorbitant keening and wailing and moaning from an international class of banshees.

Friday, 19 August 2016

GDS & the banshees 1


The system is not set up to do stuff.
It’s set up, frankly,
to have an intellectual pissing match
around how its things should be.


Proper journalists have sources and on Sunday 31 August July 2016 Bryan Glick, editor of Computer Weekly magazine, published DWP director Kevin Cunnington set to take over as new head of Government Digital Service. Next day he turned out to be right, John Manzoni: Changes at the Government Digital Service.

The Government Digital Service (GDS) has a budget – £450 million to tide them over to 31 March 2020 – but no published strategy. Mr Glick's sources seem to have been able to give him the date of the overdue announcement of GDS's strategy – 15 September 2016 – and some insight into official thinking: "Our sources say the Cabinet Office hopes to use the launch of the new strategy to 'nullify any coverage around GDS being in confusion or disarray' ...".