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Scotlands criminal records agency to help deliver national digital identity service
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GovTech

Scotlands criminal records agency to help deliver national digital identity service 

The organisation responsible for running criminal record checks on people moving into potentially sensitive job roles is to help deliver Scotland’s national digital identity service.

Disclosure Scotland has partnered with the Scottish Government’s digital identity programme, which is developing a platform which seeks to create a safe, secure and easy way for people to access online public services.

The government agency is to help “shape and adopt” the digital identity service, which will support the digital delivery of disclosure information.

The new service is being developed in partnership with software consultancy Scott Logic.

Kenny Birney, deputy chief executive of Disclosure Scotland, said: “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, added: “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.

The digital identity service is just one of the “common platforms” currently being developed by the Scottish Government for use across the public sector – a commitment outlined in the digital strategy published last year.

Work on the platform began in April 2021 and will run for another year, with an option to extend for a further two years.

In a blog post providing an update on the project, Tom Wallace, service customer team lead on the digital identity programme, said that the group is “well on the way” to delivering the ‘Secure Sign On’ – the initial component in the digital identity service.

The Secure Sign On will provide end users with one set of login details to access multiple services, meeting the latest security standards, providing multi-factor authentication and offering relevant user-support.

He added that work has also begun on developing the ‘Prove Who You Are’ element of the service, which will allow users to save information about themselves that has been proven to be accurate.

Wallace urged public sector agencies to get in touch with the digital identity programme to explore how the new service can support their organisation and users.

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