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Thursday, October 28, 2021

New Gov.uk app will let people access 300 services at the blink of an eye

The project, which is in its early stages, does not have a set budget as yet, but Government sources said they expect it to cost “substantially less” than the near-£200 million spent on Verify.

The announcement has prompted warnings that the app cannot become “yet another blackhole” for taxpayers money like its predecessor.

Verify promised users that they would only have to prove their ID once via websites run by third parties and then they would be able to use Gov.uk without endless signing in.

However, the doomed project was mauled by MPs in a 2019 report by the Public Affairs Committee, who said ministers had “vastly overestimated the benefits it could achieve”.

The report summed up the project saying: “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.”

Commenting on the new Gov.uk app plans, the TaxPayers’ Alliance warned that it is the latest in a “long line of costly government IT projects”.

Darwin Friend, a policy analyst at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, added: “It is crucial that taxpayers receive value for money from all public sector schemes, especially when hundreds of millions are at stake. Ministers must ensure that this app does not become yet another black hole for public funds as its predecessor became.”

Meanwhile, Mr Barclay is also expected to announce the formation of a new experts panel to oversee the Government’s digital projects.

The new Digital Advisory Board will be made up of business leaders from E.On, the Lloyds Banking Group and HSBC.

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