Disclosure Scotland partnering with the digital identity service
Tom Wallace, Service Customer Team Lead on the digital identity programme, provides an update on the programme’s partnership with Disclosure Scotland and encourages other interested organisations across Scotland to get in touch.
What does our service aim to deliver?
The digital identity service is just one of the common platforms being developed by the Scottish Government for use across the public sector in Scotland. Our main aim is to improve people’s access to online public services by providing a safe, secure and easy way to access those services. This is a commitment within Scotland’s digital strategy: A changing nation: how Scotland will thrive in a digital world.
The initial component in the digital identity service will be ‘Secure Sign On,’ which will provide end users with one set of login details to access multiple services. Free for use across the public sector, ‘Secure Sign On’ will meet latest security standards, provide multi-factor authentication and offer relevant user-support.
Once signed in, users can show proof of identity by using technology and basic documentation when applying for a service or benefit using the ‘Prove Who You Are’ element of the digital identity service.
Looking further down the road, often people do not always need to prove who they are; they may simply need to prove a single verified piece of information or a fact about themselves to be eligible for a service. We are developing the service to support the sharing of other verified pieces of information.
Key to ‘Prove Who You Are’ will be allowing people – if they wish – to save information about themselves which has been proven to be accurate. Then, when they seek access to another service in the future which needs some of the same information, they will be asked if they want to share those parts of information. The value and saving comes as that information has already been proven as accurate and therefore doesn’t need to be verified again.
Across all the elements of the digital identity service, we will support end users in a way that speeds up their access to these services whilst reducing the time, effort and costs to organisations across the public sector in Scotland.
What progress is being made?
We’re designing and building these services using the Digital Scotland Design System and following Digital Scotland Service Standards. Following these standards helps ensure users are given the best possible experience, as well as guiding any organisations that want to use the services.
We are developing the new service with technology partner Scott Logic and are well on the way to delivering the initial ‘Secure Sign On.’ We are working with a variety of public organisations to ensure the services meet their needs and those of their end users.
As part of that, we are pleased that Disclosure Scotland has recently agreed to work in partnership with the programme to shape and adopt the digital identity service. This will support the digital delivery of disclosure information, a key legislative requirement for Disclosure Scotland under the Disclosure (Scotland) Act 2020.
As Kenny Birney, Deputy Chief Executive of Disclosure Scotland, says:
“Scotland – rightly – has ambitions to be among the world’s leading digital nations. An important part of that is the ability for people to access public services through a simple and secure online mechanism.
“We in Disclosure Scotland are working to transform the critical services we offer, by enabling digital access to disclosure information. Due to the very sensitive nature of the information we hold, we need to have a way not only for users to sign in securely but also to verify their identity.
“These needs are not unique to Disclosure Scotland and I am personally very keen to encourage reuse of digital components across the public sector. The Digital Identity Service is an excellent example where this approach should be taken and we in Disclosure Scotland are very excited and proud to be working as a development partner. Together, we will build something that is not just of value to us, but to Scotland.”
Trudy Nicolson, Programme Director of the Digital Identity Programme, adds:
“Our service will help transform the way people access Scotland’s public services online, giving them a quicker and easier way to do so whilst ensuring their security and privacy is maintained at all times.
“The partnership with Disclosure Scotland is a critical step forward towards delivering the live service and reaping these benefits.
“As Scotland’s Digital Strategy emphasises, public sector organisations should make use of the common platforms we are developing when delivering or transforming their digital services. We look forward to working with Disclosure Scotland, and other organisations to encourage take up of the service.
“With this news, and as we approach delivery of the initial ‘Secure Sign On’ and ‘Prove Who You Are’ service, it is a very exciting time for the programme.”
Over the next few months, the digital identity service team is looking forward to talking more about innovation and features within all elements of the digital identity service and an updated roadmap.
How we can help
The more organisations that adopt ‘Secure Sign On’ and ‘Prove Who You Are,’ the greater value this will bring to the services they deliver and the users of those services.
So, if you are responsible for a public service and aren’t already in discussion with us about how ‘Secure Sign On’ or ‘Prove Who You Are’ can support your organisation and users, please note your interest by getting in touch as below.
You can also subscribe to Scottish Government Digital Scotland newsletter for regular updates on the digital identity service and other digital projects.
How to contact the team
You can get in touch with the team by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org