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  • take forward proposals to develop a cross-government identity management system to enable greater personalisation of services and to reduce duplication across government, building on a proof of concept project to share data between HM Revenue and Customs, DWP and 12 local authorities;

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Hmmmmmmmm. Why not just give this job to the "gold-standard" IPS which has such a fabulous customer satisfaction rating and is spending £5.8bn (according to confused and ill-informed Home Office ministers) or anything up to £19bn (according to the curiously prescient intellectual pygmies of the LSE) to do this already? We can think of a few good reasons, but it would be heartening to see HM Treausry spell them out as well.

Posted by William on 2006-12-30 14:47:54.
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Recommending a cross-government identity management system is easy. All you need do is look at page 8 of the IPS Strategic Action Plan for the National Identity Scheme. It is a single horizontal double headed arrow, without giving a clue of the implementation strategy. The odds are against HMRC, DWP and 12LAs coming up with a truly cross-government strategy that is acceptable to all (including the treasury and cabinet office).

Posted by lance piper on 2007-01-05 08:55:41.
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As I understand it James Hall's job title actually includes responsibility for Identity Management across Govt, so the brief does rest with IPS.

On the issue of principle, how can one object to the idea that state institutions all work off a common identification of the human beings that are on its territory? You can call yourself whatever you want in your multiple communities, but surely where taxpayers' money is being used to do things that you cannot do yourself or where your action can prejudice other people's interests, it's entirely right that a citizen has a stable, attested identity which the state can use to hold him to account as a citizen. I think this tunes in with the "rights and responsibilities" discourse and the alternative is childish in several senses.

On the issue of practicality, and "acceptability to all", of course there are huge challenges, perhaps the most significant of which is the "goal displacement" that prevents Departments from cooperating fully in the public interest where that challenges their empires.

There are a couple of places in this document where that issue is at least obliquely recognised and, in my view, it's the key leadership challenge for the next PM!

Posted by Geoff Llewellyn on 2007-01-05 11:08:13.
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I'm a bit concerned about what "personalisation" means until we define it better.

At one extreme it sounds like mechannical targetting and brings to mind YouTube videos of pilots using laserguided weapons precisely to target and kill people about whom they know...well...precisely nothing. Or rather with whom they feel precisely zero empathy.

Personalisation is something I've always done myself, like decorating one's own room.

Personalised Google homepage feels rather different from a future personalised pizza delivery service as described by ACLU which knows everything about you and lectures you because youre too fat. I dont welcome intrusive persoalised financial service promotion based on credit rating data. Personalisation is clearly not always a Good Thing, so it's awkward to have it as a policy cliche we never question.

So the question of intention looms large.

Posted by William on 2007-01-05 20:30:16.
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