GOV.UK Verify (Verify) was heralded as a flagship digital programme for government, but three years after it went live, the programme has not delivered value for money and members of the public using the system have been hampered by a catalogue of problems, including difficulty signing up and accessing multiple government services. Verify clearly demonstrates many of the failings we see all too often on large government projects: expectations were over-optimistic from the start, key targets have been badly missed and results simply not delivered.
Only 19 government services have adopted Verify, fewer than half the number expected; and only 3.9 million people have signed up as Verify users, less than one-sixth of the forecast 25 million users by 2020. Some of the most vulnerable people using the system—such as those applying for Universal Credit — are among the worst affected. Despite over 20 internal and external reviews, the Government Digital Service (GDS) and the Cabinet Office have failed to get the programme on track. Six months after announcing that public funding would stop in March 2020, GDS and the Cabinet Office have not resolved major uncertainties about how Verify will operate beyond that date.
Published: 8 May 2019