Monday 1 October 2012

What are GDS doing while DWP wait for an identity assurance service they can use for Universal Credit?

OIX provides a means of engaging with partners to structure alpha projects that experiment with solutions to real-world problems. These projects will morph and scale into production solutions ...

Me neither.

The wordage above was assembled by Don Thibeau, the Chairman and At-large Director of OIX.

You may not remember, but you've read about OIX here on DMossEsq before. When the Government Digital Service (GDS) had their boondoggle to the White House, they rounded it off with a visit to the Open Identity Exchange.

You may have wondered at the time what OIX is. Well now you know, thanks to its At-large Director.

The GDS visit went off so well that the Cabinet Office joined OIX. An OIX Working Group was set up, devoted to the UK's identity assurance programme. And that was the occasion for Mr Thibeau's battle with natural language, Easier done than said: The challenge of third-party digital identity credentials:
How does HMG's Cabinet Office in the context of an working group encourage what they say they want, or prevent what they don’t we want, from occurring?
Good question. Mr Thibeau should take his ideas to the top. History could be made when he tells Francis Maude face to face that:
Instead of dealing with the technologically straightforward problem of the provenance of personal data and identifiers, the identity community has tried to re-architect the very way that parties transact. We've tied technical capabilities into intractable legal knots. When most business today involves bilateral arrangements, and it’s common for the RP to be the IdP, the OIX UK IDAP Working Group will take a very radical step to move to multilateral schemes and trust frameworks that embrace both legacy business models and new requirements.
That will put the carping of the legacy trolls at DWP into its proper context.

OK, GDS said it was in charge of identity assurance. And OK, GDS said that it aimed to announce which companies would be the UK's identity providers (IdPs) by the end of September. Yesterday. Which it didn't. And OK, so DWP are waiting for the Identity Assurance Programme (IDAP) to function so that they can get their technologically straightforward Universal Credit system up and running.

But you can't rush these things. Here in the real-world, it takes time for partners to engage, to experiment and to structure an alpha project before it can morph or scale into a tractable production solution operating within a multilateral trust framework, and DWP will just have to wait.

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