Essex ready to consider adopting Verify identity assurance platform
Council argues that “there isn’t a service where it wouldn’t be useful”, and has high hopes for ID assurance function use across multiple agencies to bring Live Safe at Home vision to life
Essex County Council is considering using the Government’s GOV.UK Verify identity assurance platform across the council.
The council, which is hosting a “smart digital summit” next week at the BT Tower in London on how digital can change lives, has high hopes for the use of Verify for several council services, particularly in the area of domiciliary care for elderly citizens as part of working with multiple agencies for its “Live Safe at Home” scheme.
Discussing the forthcoming summit last week, and in particular a desire behind the event to involve the private sector, and notably retailers to drive different thinking, David Wilde, the council’s executive director and chief information officer and councillor Stephen Canning, the Cabinet Member for Digital Innovation, IT and Customer Services expressed support for Verify, which last week was at the centre of a Whitehall turf war after HM Revenue & Customs published a blog discussing its plans for transforming Government Gateway.
“We are going to start moving towards using Verify across the council,” said Canning, a thought echoed by Wilde, who said, ”It makes perfect sense.”
Asked where he saw Verify potentially being used in the council and how much usage Essex could get from it, Canning said, “I don’t think there is a service we have where it wouldn’t be useful. If we’re already providing something or they are paying us council tax, we’ve already got that sort of file and we’ve already got their proof of identity, requirements that they’ve had to give us for other different applications they’ve made, if they can then verify their identity in a reliable way, there’s no reason for us to ask them a whole range of other questions that we do for pretty much every service. So I can see it helping us to cut out that sort of triage or first questioning stage that we do on pretty much every service provision.”
David added, “For me Verify will come into its own, taking us right back to that Live Safe at Home piece. The power of Verify across multiple agencies to bring to life that vision is huge. There’s another thing I like about Verify is that it’s not government, is it? It’s Experian. It’s the Post Office. It’s actually the private sector.”
“And that’s why the engaging the private sector piece is important and having them at the event is important,” added Canning.