Government’s two biggest departments will begin implementing the One Login system across their services within the next year.
The Department for Work and Pensions will begin rolling out the new government-wide login tool across its array of citizen services towards the end of this year, according to a new timeline provided by the Government Digital Service, which is developing One Login.
From spring 2024, everyone registering to use HM Revenue and Customs services for the first time will also do so by creating a One Login account. At the same point, the tax agency will begin the process of migrating its existing users to the new platform.
The two organisations deliver some of the most critical and widely used government services and their commencement of the process of adopting One Login will represent a major step in the platform’s progress towards its ultimate aim of comprehensive adoption. The core departmental workforces of DWP and HMRC are also by far the two largest in government, employing the full-time equivalent of 76,893 and 65,361 people – a cumulative tally of 142,254 staff, equating to about 30% of the civil service overall.
At a briefing event held by GDS, the digital unit revealed that the migration timelines set by DWP and HMRC are part of a wider plan to ensure that One Login is in use across more than 100 major services by the end of 2025. The intention is that ubiquitous uptake will be achieved over the months thereafter, once more niche or complex services have been brought on board.
Alongside HMRC and DWP on the adoption roadmap for the next year are Companies House and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, both of which are slated to begin using One Login as part their service delivery in autumn 2023.
These services will be added to existing roster of eight that have currently incorporated the new login tool.
Disclosure and Barring Service basic checks were the first to do so, in June of last year. Before the end of 2022, this was followed by the Licensing and International Trade and Enterprise Service offered by the Department for Business and Trade, and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency’s application process for vehicle operator licences.
Since the start of 2023, Social Work England’s application tool for new social workers has used One Login, as has HM Land Registry’s service for signing mortgage deeds, online applications to become an Ofqual advisor, and the Home Office’s digital process for filing modern slavery statements.
HMRC has also made use of the identity-checking capability of One Login, offering users of its personal tax services – which are still accessed via the long-standing Government Gateway login system – an additional means of proving their identity. GDS indicated that One Login handled about a third of all the tax agency’s requirements for checking users’ identity during the busy period at the start of the year as the annual self-assessment filing deadline approached.
A total of 819,000 people across the country have completed the full process of creating an account with One Login while, as a result of its use the ID-checking component in delivering HMRC services, an additional 691,000 people have been issued with an identity via the system. In total, 1.51 million citizens have used the login tool to access government services to date.
Identity can currently be proved via the provision of a passport, driving licence, or biometric residence permit, or by a process of knowledge-based verification. More routes – intended to widen inclusion and accessibility – will be added during the coming months, including face-to-face and telephone support.
One Login GDS and is intended to provide a single, unified replacement for 191 existing accounts systems used by agencies, incorporating 44 different login methods.
Speaking at the event, Alex Burghart – the Cabinet Office minister with oversight of GDS – said that the implementation of the new system will provide government with collective savings of £700m over the next five years. As time progresses, the tool can also continue to improve user experience by offering more personalisation.
He said: “If you allow the system to know more about you, it can know things you are eligible for and can then prompt you or sign you up for a service – these are the things we are starting to explore in the Cabinet Office.”
Sam Trendall is editor of CSW's sister title PublicTechnology, where this story first appeared