Socitm sets out vision for GOV.UK Verify, Notify and Pay

Briefing document explains how the services could be used by local governments

government

Socitm, an association for IT professionals, has revealed in a new briefing document how three of the UK's "government as a service" platforms, GOV.UK Verify, GOV.UK Notify and GOV.UK Pay, could be rolled out to local public services, but need development before they will be suitable.

The briefing, named The Local Digital Coalition: a key step to the future delivery of joined up and digital local public services explains what the services' key aims are and how they could be adapted to benefit local services more, rather than just being suited to the better-resourced central government, and how The Coalition, a trade body that comprises Socitm, the Local CIO Council, SOLACE and a number of similar organisations, can help facilitate this.

For example, according to the report GOV.UK is great in principle to help public service providers inform users about changes to their service eligibility and the current status of any outstanding service requests. Central government departments don't have to pay for the usage within a pre-determined allowance as it avoids bureaucratic costs and encourages uptake. It is currently unclear, however, whether local governments and third sector organisations would also receive a GDS-subsidised usage allowance should it be rolled out to them.

Additionally, children and the elderly may find it hard to gain authentication under the current GOV.UK Verify arrangements, which was developed for central governments to verify the credentials of users of online public services, even though they make up a large proportion of this user base .

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Martin Ferguson, director of policy and research at Socitm, said: "From a central-local public service perspective, successful channel shift to online is crucial to achieving savings required by the austerity programme, as well as bringing the full spectrum of public services into the modern digital age."

"Reusability of well-designed, fit-for-purpose service platforms is critical to realising this vision on a big scale. Socitm anticipates that the Local Digital Coalition will play a key role in helping this vision become reality," he concluded

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