back to article Red flag: Verify to be marked 'undeliverable' by gov projects watchdog

The UK government's troubled £154m digital identity project Verify is to be flagged red by Whitehall's major projects watchdog, meaning delivery looks unachievable - according to sources. The rating is expected to emerge in the Infrastructure Projects Authority's annual report later today, which scrutinises over 130 large and …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Trollface

    "difficulties that lacked [..] leadership buy-in"

    Does that mean that they haven't found a nephew that needs a cushy position to fail in ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "difficulties that lacked [..] leadership buy-in"

      @Pascal Monett: “Does that mean that they haven't found a nephew that needs a cushy position to fail in ?”

      It's a bunch of cynical types who hang around here.

      1. eldakka Silver badge

        Re: "difficulties that lacked [..] leadership buy-in"

        It's a bunch of cynical realistic types who hang around here.

        FTFY.

  2. Kubla Cant Silver badge

    Kevin Cunnington

    Something about that name always causes a snigger. Puerile, I know.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Kevin Cunnington

      I worked with him a couple of decades ago. Decent bloke to work with.

      1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

        Re: Kevin Cunnington

        Yeh, his sister Verity was nice as well.

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: Kevin Cunnington

          "He has a wife, you know...do you know what her name is?"

          Answers on a bawdy seaside postcode..

          1. hplasm Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: Kevin Cunnington

            "He has a wife, you know...do you know what her name is?"

            Bunty?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "I'd love to see how on earth they calculate them."

    Simple: ignore all the hidden and generated costs et voilà, remains de savings only.

    "During the PAC hearing, civil service chief exec John Manzoni was also grilled on not remembering whether he'd looked at the business case for Verify."

    A pretty stellar ooops, this one.

    1. Mine's a Large One
      FAIL

      "Simple: ignore all the hidden and generated costs et voilà, remains de savings only."

      I've seen that a lot. "We moved from legacy Product X to shiny-shiny Product Y and saved £20K over the duration of the contract". Yes, but it cost £200K to do that...

  4. iron Silver badge

    Verify is due to be h̶a̶n̶d̶e̶d̶ ̶o̶v̶e̶r̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶p̶r̶i̶v̶a̶t̶e̶ ̶s̶e̶c̶t̶o̶r̶ cancelled next year.

    FTFY

    1. Flywheel Silver badge
      Holmes

      Verify is due to be h̶a̶n̶d̶e̶d̶ ̶o̶v̶e̶r̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶p̶r̶i̶v̶a̶t̶e̶ ̶s̶e̶c̶t̶o̶r̶ cancelled awarded to Crapita next year.

      No doubt with an embarrassingly large golden c'mon...

  5. Warm Braw Silver badge

    I've already had two government IDs...

    You can't (or couldn't) get your NI record and pension forecast without one and the scheme had changed between my first request and my second some years later.

    I have no idea where either is and would have to request a third if I wanted to repeat the exercise. Which I would immediately throw away as I would have no immediate future use for it.

    You used just to have to phone up and give them your NI number. You could do that with a text box on a form.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: I've already had two government IDs...

      You could, but they couldn't show you the result. They would have to send a letter to your address because the format of NI numbers is hardly a state secret.

      1. Tom Chiverton 1

        Re: I've already had two government IDs...

        And? Seems sensible, easy to automate. Two factor too...

  6. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Pint

    Unfortunat choice of words perhaps?

    Indeed, through 2016 we were looking at it and we were working with IPA

    Too much IPA could result in the mess that the project is in today.

    Have another one on me {please}

    1. IGotOut

      Re: Unfortunat choice of words perhaps?

      I believe the mat that the IPA was sat on contained all the project scope and costing information required.

  7. dotslash

    It's red

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/infrastructure-and-projects-authority-annual-report-2019

  8. m0rt Silver badge

    "A Cabinet Office spokesperson told The Reg: "Verify is a world-leading example of how to enable people to use services securely online. This has been a challenging project - but challenges like these are to be expected when the government is working at the forefront of new technology.

    "Verify is now at a point where it can be taken forward by the private sector, so people will be able to safely and securely access both private and public online services.""

    ....9....10.

    KABOOM*

    Whoever said that surely has a special place in hell reserved for them?

    *Spin meter blowing its top.

  9. IGotOut

    Handed over to the private sector?

    Would having over people's information to a 3rd not contravene GDPR?

    OR are they just going to hand over a blank MyFirstSQL database.

  10. CountCadaver

    As usual taxpayer picks up the cost and then its punted over to the private sector where despite doing no extra work, bar slapping on a shiny shiny front end somehow massive profits are made, usually because the government then signs a cushy contract with the new provider and requires everyone to use their services....

  11. jonathan keith

    "A Cabinet Office spokesperson told The Reg: "Verify is a world-leading example of how to fuck a huge IT project up from start to finish without learning a single useful lesson along the way."

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      I read that as verity (as in Stob) and was briefly offended on her behalf

  12. PaulVD
    Facepalm

    I am already able to safely and securely access both private and public online services

    I use a password manager.

  13. eldakka Silver badge
    Holmes

    Up to 2016, the Government Digital Service was claiming that 25 million people would be signed up to Verify by 2020 – based on current estimates, the real figure will be more like 5.4m.

    Easily fixed. Do what the Australian government did when the same situation was facing MyHealth, change the signup from voluntary (opt-in) to compulsory unless you manually, explicitly opt-out. That'll fix the numbers for them (though not the other problems with it).

  14. Psmo Bronze badge
    Go

    s/identity/vanity/g

    The UK government's troubled £154m digital vanity project...

  15. Disgusted of Cheltenham

    Since half the people who try can't get in, how would compulsory help? Those are a cumulative 5m accounts, not people; whatever the position on fraud (which we are told is both out of control and none detected), it's designed so one person can have many, and no doubt some of those with providers who have gone will have taken out a second one, not to mention those who try to put in a tax return 366 days after the previous one.

    Australia has lots of good ideas, like compulsory opportunity to vote so there's no intimidation to keep people away and no opportunity to masquerade as someone who will not turn up. (They even invented the secret ballot.) In this case, better to look to NZ or Canada. 'Platforms', we are told, have canonical registers; Verify doesn't. Much better either to have a proper distributed Jury service status register or to make the compulsory EU resident's database optionally available for UK citizens.

  16. bartsmit
    Coat

    World leading is hard

    Just as well we're a major power. Imagine the difficulty for small countries

    https://e-estonia.com/solutions/e-identity/id-card/

    https://www.digid.nl/en/

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "There's no magic money tree"

    ......more "prevarication with the truth".....billions gone from the magic money tree....but not to benefit citizens...oh no!!! Cui bono???

    - https://www.softwareadvisoryservice.com/blog/biggest-uk-government-project-failures/

  18. Ray Foulkes

    Be careful for what you desire

    It sounds great - an identity which guarantees that it is YOU i.e. a person registered with the government, a bank, a doctor who is making contact with an online service. If that is where it stopped, it would be fine. However, when politicians get their hands on the concept it turns into something quite different like the National Identity register. For that, there would be thousands of people able to access your information, 1% (on average) being criminals. It was proposed that (as a starter only) with information to be added without your knowledge and with no means of correcting or challenging the information the following (I quote):

    (1)For the purposes of sections 4 and 5 “personal information”, in relation to an individual (“A”), means—

    (a)A's full name,

    (b)other names by which A is or has previously been known,

    (c)A's gender,

    (d)A's date and place of birth,

    (e)external characteristics of A that are capable of being used for identifying A,

    (f)the address of A's principal place of residence in the United Kingdom,

    (g)the address of every other place in the United Kingdom or elsewhere where A has a place of residence,

    (h)where in the United Kingdom and elsewhere A has previously been resident,

    (i)the times at which A was resident at different places in the United Kingdom or elsewhere,

    (j)A's current residential status,

    (k)residential statuses previously held by A, and

    (l)information about numbers allocated to A for identification purposes and about the documents (including stamps or labels) to which they relate.

    Note that it fails to mention photos directly and the usual hassle of having to pay to update them on a regular basis.

    This will permit a number of interesting consequences:

    1. Criminals will be able to take your identity more easily since the information will be public (despite the governments best efforts).

    2. If there is a criminal activity in or near any of the properties you have lived in, you will be hauled in front of a court to prove it wasn't you.

    3. There will be many errors which you will not be able to correct - wrong addresses, wrong dates which will have nasty consequences in trying to get loans, take out insurance etc. etc.

    Wouldn't it be nice if there could be an identity system which simply permitted you to identify yourself? In the uk IMPOSSIBLE - too many bureaucrats and politicians trying to create the police state.

  19. G G Madden

    My failed attempts at being Verified are available on YouTube, "GOV.UK Verify Failure" and "GOV.UK HMRC Fail Again".

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    verify is a bit shit

    so is the gov gateway.

    I know, support both.

    You can set up unlimited personal tax accounts, as all it is is a front end to access data on the various head of duty systems. As long as your ID is proven your good to go.

    Except you need a passport or P60 to use gov gateway, or passport, P60 & driving licence for verify. Dont have the ID, no online service for you.

    And for bonus points, do you think ifnyou set up a dozen personal tax accounts you get to have self assessment in every one? Nope, you don't. becaue people dont read or it's badly written, people failing to log in create a new account, log in, then cant access self assessment. Then throw a real tantrum when you explain the problem.

    The simple answer is going to be one account per NINO. Centrally mandated, with an easy way to go see people about it and set it up. After all its hard to be an identity scammer in person locked in a room with someone that will arrest you. And of course, a local office means better service all round.

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