Directgov has asked IT suppliers to come up with new thinking on identity verification.
The team, which is now within the Cabinet Office, has issued a pre-tender notice published in the Official Journal of the European Union, saying that it wants feedback on potential requirements for the public sector on all aspects of identity verification and authentication. This is particularly relevant to online and telephone channels, and the notice says the services include the provision of related software and computer services.
Any accreditation process would have to be based on defined policies and standards, but the commercial basis on which the service would be provided is still to be determined.
The notice also makes the point that it is outlining current thinking but will not bind any future procurement, and that if one does take place it may involve supplier conferences to discuss the nature and extent of available services.
It is notable that the move comes after the termination of plans for a national identity card, although Stephen Roberts, research director at Kable, suggested that the move could be down to a desire to develop an authentication mechanism that would encourage higher public take-up than the Government Gateway.
He said: "Whether the Government Gateway is to be replaced or enhanced, the barriers to joined up public sector identity management are political rather than technical. Similarly, this broad appeal to suppliers for feedback may reflect to new approach to procurement as much as a hunger for innovation."
This article was originally published at Kable.
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