Many users drop out of the process without success.
Even in the citizen space, Verify is currently proving difficult to use.
It’s suffering from a high rate of failure when trying to identify citizens.
Verify, one of the UK government’s flagship digital programmes, set out with the best of intentions.
It aimed to establish an identity assurance framework that could work across private and public sectors, facilitating a marketplace of trusted third parties to identify and authenticate users of online services.
Various problems however were highlighted by the March 2017 National Audit Office (NAO) report, Digital transformation in government , including that the Verify platform missed its original 2012 live implementation date by nearly four years.
Nine of the 12 services available when Verify finally launched in May 2016 also offered alternative ways for users to identify and authenticate themselves, confusing the online experience for users.
Departments often fail to match Verify data with the data they hold – no great surprise since government services typically hold citizens’ data in a different form to that used by the Verify commercial companies.
According to the NAO, in February 2017 Verify had just 1.1 million user accounts.
Despite its original worthy aspirations, Verify is displaying the worrying and familiar symptoms of a troubled government programme.
It’s running significantly behind schedule and de-scoped, and possibly over budget - although this is difficult to determine since, as the NAO report noted, “…before 2016-17 GDS did not split its staff costs into specific programmes”.
This date came and went, and several more years passed.