Cabinet Office seeks suppliers for £150m Verify contract

Houses of parliament

The Cabinet Office is set to procure for a 150 million identity assurance contract on behalf of the Government Digital Service (GDS).

The deal will see up to 10 firms provide identity assurance services through the Government's Verify programme, its new method for website visitors to prove their identity when necessary to do so.

The Cabinet Office's tender notice read: "The aspiration is for central government, together with the providers under this framework agreement and others, to work together to develop, broaden and stimulate the market for identity assurance services.

"This aspiration is initially focused on the wider public sector, with potential expansion into the private sector and other countries to follow."

The Cabinet Office expects to award the contract in April next year, for the framework to run for three years, with a one-year extension option.

The aim of the contract is to allow citizens to prove their identities when accessing digital services using Verify, which provides identity authentication to a pre-defined Level of Assurance (LoA), which rate from LoA1 to LoA3.

The thid-party provider would check "a range of evidence" against LoA standards to ensure a person is who they say they are, said the Cabinet Office.

The third-party would then relay that assurance to the GDS, which would then confirm that assurance to the relevant public body the person is using.

"Each assured identity is valid across all digital services that use Verify as a means for people to access the service," added the Cabinet Office.

The Cabinet Office's aim is that all central government services requiring identity assurance services will use Verify by March 2016.