Friday 28 September 2012

Identity assurance – the clock is ticking, your moderation is awaiting comment

28 September 2012 and a reply to yesterday's enquiry has whizzed in from GDS, followed by a reply to the reply:

steve #

Thanks for your comment, David.

Firstly, please don’t take our lack of posts as evidence of inaction. We’ve actually been incredibly busy over the summer and are expecting a bumper crop of posts in October, to share what we’ve been up to. So, watch this space.

Secondly, DWP are still working to resolve final contractual issues. The outcome will only be made public when final contracts are signed.



steve #

Furthermore, this notification will come from DWP, not Cabinet Office or GDS, as it is their framework.


dmossesq #

Please Note: Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Dear Mr Wreyford

Thank you for your reply.

I don’t mistake the absence of posts for inactivity – as I said, surely there must have been some activity in view of the importance of Universal Credit.

You say that “DWP are still working to resolve final contractual issues”. Ex-Guardian man Mike Bracken made it clear on 1 March 2012 that Identity Assurance belongs to the Cabinet Office and not DWP: “… this approach ensures that, ultimately, HMG-wide Identity Assurance is supplied across central departments via a common procurement portal (to HMG agreed standards) and governed by the Cabinet Office”. Presumably GDS are involved in those “final contractual issues” just as much as if not more than DWP*.

The absence of posts does create a vacuum, though, which draws in all sorts of flotsam …

The Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) midata initiative, for example. Why are GDS using BIS to try to legislate for Personal Data Stores/Inventories (PDSs/PDIs) instead of doing it themselves?

And GOV.UK – why waste a lot of time and money re-writing central government websites? Is it to provide consistent hooks for PDS-based identity assurance in all government communications over the web?

A PDS is a dynamic dematerialised ID card, isn’t it. The public won’t “wear it”. Neither will the banks if the Cabinet Office try to insert PDSs into the nation’s payment systems.

If Google and/or Facebook turn out to be on the list of GDS-approved suppliers of identity assurance services, then DWP and everyone else will have wasted their time negotiating any contractual issues, final or otherwise. Again, the public won’t wear it.

And the GOV.UK team will have wasted their time.

And BIS will have wasted their credibility …

Goodness, just look at all that dust, you never can tell what the vacuum’s going to draw up, can you. The sooner GDS can tell an expectant public what you’ve come up with identity assurancewise, the better.


* While writing this reply of mine, your second reply popped up, trying to push responsibility back on to DWP. Too late, Mr Wreyford. The Cabinet Office burnt their bridges when they made DWP withdraw their December 2011 OJEU notice. You know that. If Universal Credit fails for lack of identity assurance, that will be the Cabinet Office’s fault now and not DWP’s.

The last comment will only appear on the GDS blog after moderation by them and only if they want it to appear.

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