I would like to update the House on the GOV.UK Verify programme and the development of a new cross-Government single sign-on and digital identity assurance pilot. This update follows the written statement in April 2020 made by my colleague the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, my right hon. Friend the Member for Surrey Heath (Michael Gove).
Building on our experiences of Verify, and as we announced in last year’s spending review, the Government Digital Service is collaborating with other Departments to develop the first phase of a new system that will make it easier for people to access Government services online. This will enable people to find and access Government services more quickly, allow citizens to prove their identity only once—without needing to re-enter information multiple times—and protect people’s privacy throughout.
People rightly expect from the Government a personalised, seamless and intuitive online service of the kind they get from their favourite online retailers. This pilot is an important step in that direction. Work is well underway and we have started the co-design with services and Departments across Government.
While this new system is being developed, many users and connected Government services continue to rely on GOV.UK Verify, as has been the case during the pandemic. The Government have therefore decided to extend the current Verify service, enabling new users to sign up until April 2022 and existing users to sign in until April 2023. During this time the Government will continue to update the House on the progress of our pilot.