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Strategic Action Plan for the National Identity Scheme Safeguarding your identity
Foreword by the Minister of State for Nationality, Citizenship and Immigration; the Under-Secretary of State for Nationality, Citizenship and Immigration; and the CEO of the Identity and Passport Service
This Action Plan sets out how we plan to deliver the National Identity Scheme.
The Scheme will provide a comprehensive and secure way of managing the personal identity data of all those who legally reside or work in the UK.
Our ambition for the Scheme can be simply summarised: making good choices easier, bad choices harder. An effective National Identity Scheme will do that, by delivering benefits in a number of key areas. Specifically it will:
The Scheme is a long-term programme, creating a comprehensive identity management infrastructure for the UK. We have already begun work on laying its foundations.
As with any such long-term plan, the Scheme will evolve over time. The plan we are publishing today sets out our current intentions and focuses on what we plan to deliver between now and 2010. As with any undertaking of this scale, there is still much detailed planning work to be done, and we shall learn many lessons as we start to deliver. We shall adjust the details of this Action Plan as required by experience, and we shall keep the public informed by publishing updated plans periodically.
In delivering the Scheme, the Identity and Passport Service is working very closely with the Immigration and Nationality Directorate of the Home Office, with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and with UKvisas to support their identity management requirements. Indeed, much of what we shall be delivering in 2007 and 2008 will be in support of the Government's commitments to transform the immigration system. The Borders, Immigration and Identity Action Plan, which is being published simultaneously with this document, sets out how the Government will use the National Identity Scheme to strengthen our borders and to enforce compliance within the UK. We shall deliver the first ID cards for British citizens in 2009. We recognise that our ambitions for the National Identity Scheme are considerable. They reflect the scale of the benefits that are achievable.
To return to our opening point. Good policy, well implemented, makes bad choices much more difficult. The Scheme will do that. But the great promise of the Scheme is that it makes good things easier. A really effective identity management scheme is central to aligning public services around the citizen and realising the goal of truly joined-up and personalised government.
Joan Ryan MP, Under-Secretary of State for Nationality, Citizenship and Immigration
This document explains what the National Identity Scheme is, what it will deliver and when.
The Scheme will provide a comprehensive and secure way of recording personal identity information, storing it and making it possible for you to use it if you want to prove your identity. It will be available for all those over 16 years old who legally reside or work in the UK. Specifically, it includes biometric visas and biometric documents for foreign nationals, enhanced passports, and ID cards for British citizens.
The Scheme will be implemented carefully and securely and we will take an incremental approach to getting it right. We have focused much effort on reducing risk and have developed contingency plans to cover potential delays. The overall timetable for delivering the components set out in this Action Plan will be determined by our total resources: central funding, efficiency savings and income from charging. It will also need to take account of technical and commercial feasibility.
So, while continuing to provide excellent customer service, we will strike a balance to ensure that best value for money is obtained, without compromising the Scheme's integrity.
We are also committed to meeting European and worldwide initiatives to make passports ever more secure, including the use of fingerprint biometrics. The timing of these changes will depend on balancing a number of factors, including costs, risk, the outcome of pilots and development across the EU and internationally.
As part of this, we will make use of pilots, which will inform and refine our thinking as to the best way of rolling out services as the Scheme develops.
The remaining chapters of this document set out how we do all this in more detail, as follows:
At the back, there is a list of abbreviations and a summary grid of actions which brings together in one place the key dates and activities from the document.
The National Identity Scheme, underpinned by the Identity Cards Act 2006, and other important legislation such as the Data Protection Act 1998, will provide a comprehensive identity management service for all those who legally reside or work in the UK.
Over time, this will include all British citizens over 16 and foreign nationals (including European Economic Area nationals) in the UK.
2. The Scheme has five major parts.
3. Our plans set out in this document for delivering the Scheme show how this will be done, building on what we have delivered already.
4. The Identity and Passport Service (IPS) has been reviewing over the last few months its plans for delivery of the National Identity Scheme. This is to ensure an integrated approach with the Home Office's work on securing borders, to minimise delivery risk, to ensure value for money and to accelerate the introduction of the Scheme's benefits.
5. The Scheme will require people, processes, premises and technology. We will maximise the potential of such resources already available across government. This use of what is already in place is in line with Government policy, both in terms of sharing resources across government and in terms of delivering more `joined-up', personalised and effective services to customers.
6. This chapter explains, in more detail, how we intend to deliver the Scheme, including using resources that the Government has already created. Figure 2 expands on Figure 1 (see page 6) to illustrate the key elements that need to be delivered.
7. For British citizens, when you apply for an ID card it will be a very similar experience to how you will apply for a passport. Your application details will be processed and you will be asked to come to a local office, where your biometrics will be enrolled.
8. We are already putting in place an expanded IPS office network. We are opening 69 new local offices to meet and interview first-time applicants for passports, and to prepare for recording biometrics. These offices will open in 2007 and will be used for the National Identity Scheme. Where the network of enrolment centres needs to be further expanded, we will first seek to use high street offices that are already used by central and local government. We will also look at options for the private sector providing outlets. At these offices, the systems which staff use to help people applying for their passports will be used to handle ID card applications for British citizens.
9. We will be using new tools to do background checking against identity information from other parts of government and the private sector. Particularly important is improving our ability to check people's identity details against other data within government, most obviously data held by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), which covers the vast majority of the UK population. In 2007, checks to validate identity will start being done against the electronic records of deaths (held by DWP) and naturalisation (held by the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND)), followed progressively by data on marriages and births, and matching against identity information on other relevant government department databases from 2008 onwards.
Customer services10. We will deliver customer services in a range of ways (e.g. online, by telephone) and these will include handling changes to your personal details, correcting data when necessary (for example if you change your address, or if you lose your card), and allowing you to review your National Identity Register (NIR) information.
Production and delivery11. We will produce ID cards for British citizens and other identity documents, such as a British passport. After secure production, the applicant's personal details will be written onto the chip in each document and electronically `signed' to ensure it cannot be modified. For passports, production will continue to use the existing contract, which will be replaced when it expires. The secure delivery contract for passports is currently being retendered.
12. In the shorter term, for card production we will seek to use secure production facilities that the UK government already has in place. Going forward, we will secure new capability to produce cards in the medium to long term.
13. There are already several government databases that hold biographical information used to identify people. The real step change in the National Identity Scheme is that biometrics, such as fingerprints, will be recorded and linked to a single, confirmed biographical record (covering name, address, etc.). Biometrics will tie an individual securely to a single unique identity. They are being used to prevent people using multiple or fraudulent identities.
14. The capacity to record and link biometric and biographical details, along with administrative data (for example, details of the card issued to a person), in the NIR, is laid out in the Identity Cards Act 2006. The Act details specifically the information that can be recorded in the NIR.
15. These sets of information biometric, biographical and administrative do not all need to be held in a single system. In fact, for security reasons, and to make best use of the strengths of existing systems, it makes sense to store them separately. Specifically:
16. On each of the three systems that hold NIR information there will be other information that is not part of the NIR. For example, the biometric store will hold biometrics for children aged between 11 and 16, in line with the EU requirements for passports, but this information is not part of the NIR; and the CIS technology holds information specific to DWP's work, which again is not part of the NIR.
17. As explained in Chapter 3, there will be a range of shields and controls in place to ensure effective separation of NIR information from this non- NIR information, critically in terms of who can see and who can change which information. This will be subject to independent verification.
18. ID cards will be widely used and part of everyday life and we want to make sure we design the Scheme to get the most out of them.
19. ID cards will be used to facilitate access to many public services. This will be the case throughout the country, as the Scheme is UK-wide. Application, enrolment and the storage of data in the NIR will be managed on a UK-wide basis, in much the same way as passport applications operate today. However, the devolved administrations will have responsibility for how the ID card is used to gain access to those public services which are their responsibility.
Authentication and identity verification: you will be able to present your card to give consent to having your identity verified. There will be a number of ways of doing this, reflecting the importance of what you want to do. Offering these different levels of identity check allows organisations to balance the level of assurance of someone's identity with the investment they make to support this:
20. Initial identity checking services will be available, to enable cardholders to prove their identity easily, to get access to services, to prove entitlement, and, for British citizens, to travel within Europe using their ID card instead of a passport. The key types of services that will be offered are shown in the box on page 11. Not all of these services may be available when ID cards are initially launched, but they will be introduced as the Scheme moves forward.
21. These services will be delivered by using cards that we will issue securely, including through the current passport-issuing business. The cards will, like passports, contain a microprocessor chip. The chip will hold data in line with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) recommendations, including a biometric image of the bearer's face. This is important in their use as travel documents, as they can be used to cross other countries' borders.
22. When we record and store fingerprint biometrics (all 10 fingerprints for each person), we store a complete set in the NIR and a subset of these will be recorded on the card or passport, in line with ICAO recommendations. Again, this will be important for travel, given the international move to adopt fingerprints in travel documents.
23. Subject to reaching commercial agreements, we also intend to make the ID card for British citizens compatible with Chip and PIN card readers. We have started work on this. We will seek to work with the owners of the Chip and PIN infrastructure in our feasibility work and collaborate in piloting future identity-related protocols and services.
24. Being sure we can make best use of ID card technology in the future means working today with a range of partners to refine the uses of the Scheme.
25. We will enter into joint venture partnerships with other parts of government and the private sector to develop those identity checking services that will be offered at the launch of the Scheme.
26. We expect to engage with the private sector to encourage the innovative provision of an ever- evolving set of identity checking services. All services delivered will have oversight and accreditation from IPS, to ensure the necessary safeguards are in place.
27. In terms of initial services offered, the Passport Validation Service (PVS) is a valuable platform to be built upon. PVS is a service which organisations can already use to check that a British passport, which is presented to them as proof of identity, has been issued validly and has not been reported lost or stolen. For British citizens, this means an assurance of their identity; for business, a reduction in the potential for fraud. For example, using PVS we are already making it easier and more secure to apply to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) for a driving licence, if you have a recently issued passport.
28. At the end of September 2006, there were 18 different organisations using PVS, including three high street banks, and IPS was handling thousands of enquiries per week. PVS is currently engaging with a large pool of interested potential user organisations and will continue to grow to maximise efficiency and provide the best possible customer service.
29. The success of the National Identity Scheme in delivering its benefits relies on public confidence, especially in the accuracy and security of the information held in the National Identity Register (NIR).
30. Effective security measures will be in place for the entire Scheme. For example, ID cards and passports will be produced and delivered under appropriate levels of security, including the necessary physical and electronic security measures. However, key to the security of the Scheme is the security of the NIR, and that is what this chapter concentrates on.
Creating each person's NIR record from new, based on rigorous checking31. When a person applies to the Scheme, they provide a small set of biographical and biometric information. A range of background checks will be carried out, based on this information. For example, biographical details will be corroborated against private and public sector databases, such as those of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND). Biometrics will be checked against those of other people who have enrolled in the Scheme, to stop the same person applying twice under different identities. This corroborated information will be stored in the new NIR record.
Effective checking when a person reports a change to their details or wants to look at their record
32. It is important that all customers can have access to their record and tell us when, for example, they have moved or changed names. But we need to guard against fraudulent changes being reported or fraudulent access being requested.
33. So we will put in place effective checks to make sure that the person we are dealing with is who they claim to be, before making any changes to their NIR record or revealing information.
34. Also, the number of staff who will be able to see the whole of a person's identity record or make changes to it will be limited and fully security vetted. For any such access by staff there will be rigorous auditing, alerts and a range of technical controls to guard against internal misuse of, or fraudulent changes to, the NIR.
35. As described in Chapter 2, the information in each person's NIR entry will be in several parts, with each part being held on a separate set of technologies:
36. This separation is important in guarding against malicious or fraudulent damage to the NIR, since it would require unauthorised and undetected changes to these separate systems and the corresponding card.
37. Each of these systems will have its own specific security controls and integrity mechanisms. Biometric information will be stored with very tight security. We will build on our experience with passports, where photographs have been held for a number of years with no known compromise or misuse of the images. Stringent controls on access will be used to protect the information held and all staff will be vetted prior to employment.
38. On each of the three systems that hold NIR information, there will be other information that is not part of the NIR. For example, the biometric store will hold biometrics for children aged between 11 and 16, in line with the EU requirements for passports, but this information is not part of the NIR. The CIS technology holds information specific to DWP's work; again, this is not part of the NIR.
39. There will be controls to enforce the clear separation between NIR information and information that is not part of the NIR. These will be enforced at various technical levels and will be supplemented by strict access controls to determine which data can be seen by those with the appropriate permission (e.g. security-cleared Identity and Passport Service (IPS) staff).
40. Any information held that does not relate to the NIR will not be part of the NIR and will not be available to NIR users. Conversely, any NIR information that does not relate to the needs of other users of these systems, such as DWP staff, will not be viewable or accessible in any way by such staff.
41. Security-cleared IPS staff will be responsible for the running of the NIR and the authorised provision of information from it. It will be a criminal offence to tamper with the NIR, with a maximum penalty of 10 years' imprisonment for an unauthorised disclosure of information. We will enforce these powers.
42. The Identity Cards Act 2006 allows for certain NIR information to be provided, with a person's consent, to an accredited organisation, for example a bank. This could be to confirm an ID cardholder's identity when opening a new account. This may include information such as their address, which is not shown on the face of the card. IPS will be responsible for accrediting all such organisations to ensure they and their staff do not misuse these services. IPS will also put in place rigorous security controls so that only accredited organisations can use such services and only in the way intended.
43. It is important to stress that no part of the NIR will be directly connected to the Internet or any public network. Any request for NIR information will have to pass through a number of intermediate systems and filters, to make sure only authenticated and authorised requests can get through. Further, very strong physical security will be in place, to guard against the risk of direct physical attack.
44. The National Identity Scheme is also intended to support and enable the prevention and detection of crime and safeguard national security. NIR information may therefore be provided from the NIR without an individual's consent to the security services, the police and HM Revenue & Customs. Again, IPS will enforce strict controls to ensure any such access can only happen when fully authorised.
45. It would also be possible, subject to Parliamentary approval, for information to be provided without consent to, for example, government departments or other public bodies. This might allow a person to report a change of name or address to government once, rather than the many times needed today.
48. Data storage in the NIR will meet the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998, including customers' rights to see information held about them in computer systems. The operation of the Data Protection Act is overseen by the independent Information Commissioner, who has a statutory role to protect personal information and legal powers to enforce compliance with that Act.
Making sure the NIR's operation is secure49. Further, in terms of day-to-day integrity and security, two key expert groups will be put in place, building on the significant expertise that already exists within the Home Office.
Supporting the use of biometrics50. We will put in place the skills and expertise to support large-scale use of biometric matching. Biometric technology identifies small percentages of what are known as `false matches' or `false non- matches'. These need expert human assessment to ensure that matches are being made correctly. For this, we will build on resources which currently exist within government.
Counter-fraud, intelligence and enforcement51. We will enhance existing fraud and intelligence capabilities to counter attempted fraud and enforce the powers of the Identity Cards Act 2006 on those who attempt such activity.
52. Improving the security and management of identity has already started, and the National Identity Scheme will build on many enhancements and initiatives that are well advanced at the Identity and Passport Service (IPS), the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND), the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and UKvisas. We will also maintain the high levels of customer service achieved over recent years for the third year in a row, IPS topped the independent Comparisat Customer Satisfaction survey, ahead of organisations such as Amazon, Asda, eBay, Marks and Spencer, and Tesco.
53. Figure 4 shows our recent major areas of delivery. We also work closely with related initiatives in other areas of government, in particular those in IND, such as the Application Registration Card (ARC). Since 2002, this system has been recording fingerprint and facial biometric data from asylum applicants in the UK. We also work closely with the Iris Recognition Immigration System (IRIS) initiative, which since early 2006 has been offering a quick way for registered travellers to clear immigration at some UK airports.
Enhancing customer experience54. We have done the following to enhance customer experience:
Increased passport integrity55. We have done the following to increase passport integrity:
Introduction of identity checking services56. We have done the following to introduce identity checking services:
57. Figure 5 shows how we are building on existing successes to put the foundation for the Scheme in place. Some examples of how we are doing this are listed below.
Improving passport security and strengthening passport checks58. In mid 2007 we plan to commence a live pilot of interviewing first-time adult passport applicants.
Biometrics required for visa applications59. We will do the following in relation to biometrics for non-EEA foreign nationals coming to the UK:
61. We will do the following in relation to biometrics for non-EEA foreign nationals: 2008: we will begin to issue biometrically- enabled identity documents to foreign nationals from the 169 nations outside the EEA who are already in the UK and reapply to stay here.
63. We are also committed to meeting European and international initiatives to make passports ever more secure, including the use of fingerprint biometrics. The timing of these changes will depend on balancing a number of factors, including costs, risk, the outcome of pilots and development across the EU and internationally.
2009 and beyond
64. The first ID cards will be issued to British citizens in 2009. As the Scheme rolls out thereafter, it will continue to evolve, with the delivery of innovative services. There will be increasing involvement from the private sector, and growing numbers of people enrolled in the Scheme. This will eventually lead to registration being made compulsory (subject to Parliamentary approval).
Biometrics65. When you enrol into the Scheme, your fingerprint biometrics (all 10 fingerprints) will be recorded and stored in the National Identity Register. A subset of these will be held on your ID card or passport, in line with International Civil Aviation Organization standards. The introduction of iris biometrics also remains an option.
Private sector66. As the Scheme grows, we will continue to engage with the private sector. The identity checking services that you will be able to use to prove your identity will grow in scale, and the range of channels through which they will be made available will also be increased. We expect the private sector to play a key role by driving innovation in the use of these services. Our first steps can be seen in our work on joint ventures (see Chapter 6).
67. Our enrolment strategy will be to focus firstly on target groups who stand to make most use of ID cards, or to address specific risks, for example where existing documents are abused.
68. It is the Government's policy that registration in the National Identity Scheme should eventually be compulsory for all those resident in the UK who are over the age of 16. The Identity Cards Act 2006 allows for the registering and issuing of an ID card to be linked to the issuing of official documents such as passports and immigration documents. This means that we can issue ID cards to a large proportion of the population while managing the delivery risks. For example, around 8 per cent of the adult population receive a passport each year, but we will never be able to issue everyone in the UK with an ID card by this method. At some time in the future, further primary legislation will be laid before Parliament to provide the powers to issue ID cards to the rest of the population.
69. For British citizens, the National Identity Scheme will be administered by the Identity and Passport Service (IPS) on behalf of the Home Secretary. IPS will be responsible for the data held and for the provision of data from the National Identity Register (NIR).
70. For foreign nationals (including both EEA and non-EEA nationals), authentication, enrolment and the production of documents will all be carried out in the early stages by the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND), supported by IPS.
71. To deliver the Scheme, IPS will be commissioning work from a range of organisations including the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and private sector companies.
72. The National Identity Scheme will be governed by the Identity Cards Act 2006, immigration legislation, the secondary legislation (regulations and orders) made under the Identity Cards Act 2006 and approved by Parliament, and other legislation (e.g. the Data Protection Act, etc.). This includes regulations that will set the fees to be charged and the requirements for applying for ID cards. All of these regulations and orders will be subject to Parliamentary scrutiny, which will allow debate on the detailed proposals for the Scheme.
73. The first secondary legislation will be an order under Section 38 of the Identity Cards Act 2006. This will be placed before Parliament in early 2007, and provides for verifying information in passport applications. It enables orders to be made specifying organisations that may be required to provide information for this purpose; this is necessary to ensure that IPS has the ability to identify fraudulent passport applications and guard against identity theft.
74. Appointing a commissioner to oversee the operation of the National Identity Scheme is a key safeguard of the Identity Cards Act 2006. The Commissioner will be recruited by means of an open competition, which will begin significantly before the first ID card is issued: there will be full and proper oversight from the outset. We will ensure that the Commissioner is in post before the first ID cards are issued under the Identity Cards Act 2006. To ensure independence, the Commissioner will not be based in IPS. He or she will review the operation of the Scheme, including the uses to which ID cards are being put and the arrangements made for securing the confidentiality and integrity of information recorded in the NIR. The Commissioner will make regular reports to the Home Secretary, and these will be published and laid before Parliament.
75. There are challenges inherent in operating a shared service, where a single system meets the needs of two or more organisations; this will be the case with the NIR operating on Customer Information System technology. We are working with partners across government to ensure that there are effective management and governance arrangements in place for managing this shared use of technology.
76. In order to effectively manage shared services, the following arrangements will typically be followed:
77. Beyond the NIR, governance structures are being developed to address the following:
78. The Scheme will evolve, delivering increasing benefits over time, to support ever more effective identity management across the UK. The introduction of the National Identity Scheme will be incremental not a `big bang'. Even now, we are adding to and enhancing our existing systems and services to ensure that the Scheme delivers.
79. As already stated, our strategy for delivery is to make best use of existing assets and investment. Within this, we will continue to explore (with other parts of government and the supplier market) innovative options for delivery of the Scheme's services. As discussed below, we expect to put in place flexible and responsive commercial arrangements to enable us to achieve this.
80. An important aspect of our preparation is how we engage with private sector partners to deliver the services needed to make the Scheme a reality. During 2005, the Identity and Passport Service (IPS) commenced its market engagement by taking soundings on a potential procurement strategy and its implementation. Intellect's Concept Viability Scheme was used as part of this process. Now that the Identity Cards Act 2006 is in place, we have used that market input and further work on priorities and planning to refine our strategies for delivery. The intention is to update the market on the new propositions (through a briefing pack available on our website and with other public information), with further engagement and consultation taking place during early 2007. This will lead up to significant procurement activity beginning in the second quarter of 2007.
81. The procurement approach will harness the knowledge gained from earlier market soundings. We will be outcome-focused and will work in collaboration with the market to define solutions and long-term strategies. As part of this we will consult with the market on how best to `package' the services needed. In addition to the detail of the consultation, we will be looking at how the market can deliver speedily and flexibly, while achieving value for money.
82. There are a number of key passport-related contracts within IPS that are due to expire over the next few years. By adopting an incremental approach, IPS will seek to put contracts out to tender in a manner that will promote the continued successful delivery of passport operations and enable the development of new capabilities for future Scheme delivery. We believe that this approach reduces risk and provides best value for money.
83. During 2007, we will begin the work to put in place new commercial arrangements for key parts of the Scheme, including the following:
84. We plan to initiate a series of joint ventures strategic partnerships across government and the private sector that will shape the development of the Scheme.
85. The Government has said (Cabinet Office (November 2005) Transformational Government: Enabled by Technology) that it wants ID cards and the NIR to be the `glue' that allows personal and identity-related data to be joined up across government. Through these joint ventures, we aim to build confidence in and support for the National Identity Scheme among those people who have enrolled, people in the public sector and people in business. We also aim to tackle identity-related business challenges and to improve the customer experience for all those (the individual, as well as the private and public sectors) who interact with government services. It is important to stress that the use of the NIR here will be to provide proof of identity to joint venture partners, by only providing identity- related data that is specific to the partner's business process not to provide wider access to the full set of data that the NIR holds.
86. The first joint venture initiatives have been selected on a priority basis, based on their attractiveness and achievability. They are a mixture of initiatives both to make access to services and proper use of identity data easier, and to make fraudulent use of identity, illegal working and illegal immigration harder. The following joint ventures have been prioritised for early development:
87. We will build upon the trialling work carried out to date both to learn lessons from a `customer experience' perspective and to prove the effectiveness of the technology and processes that we plan to adopt. Excellent work in this area has already been carried out by IPS, IND and UKvisas, and this will inform our trialling plans going forward. Trialling will be based on analysis from IPS's risk management strategy of what is necessary, and on input from suppliers and the market. The following are some of the key features of our approach to trialling and piloting:
89. In accordance with the Identity Cards Act 2006, a report of the estimated costs of the National Identity Scheme was laid before Parliament on 9 October 2006(Identity Cards Act 2006: First Section 37 report to Parliament about the likely costs (presented to Parliament pursuant to Section 37 of the Identity Cards Act 2006). The report estimated the costs of issuing passports and ID cards over the coming 10 years at some £5.4 billion (excluding the cost of issuing documents to foreign nationals), much of which will be recovered from fees. We will continue to revise our estimates of the costs of implementing the Scheme as work proceeds, and will provide regular updates to Parliament; the next is scheduled for April 2007. As part of it, we will be validating the estimated costs of the work set out in this Action Plan. We will have updated the business case in the light of the approach set out in this document and will be subjecting it to independent scrutiny, including through the Office of Government Commerce Gateway process over the coming months.
90. IPS will continue to lead collaborative work across government to improve identity management and to help to ensure that this fits with the related changes prompted by Sir David Varney's review and the Government's strategy on data sharing, both of which aim to enable better, person-centred public services.
91. Government and business have a shared interest in accurate and accessible information about the customers of their services and in building public confidence in how identity information is used. The Public Private Forum on Identity Management (See www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/newsroom_and_speeches/press/2006/press_51_06.cfm for more information). chaired by Sir James Crosby, who was appointed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, is considering these issues, and how the public and private sectors can work together to deliver real improvements for individuals. The forum will report to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Ministerial Committee on Identity Management in April 2007.
92. Within the Home Office we are already working on simplifying and improving the way we handle identity information. Over time, we will be able to link people to a single identity across our systems using biometrics.
A really effective identity management scheme is essential in order to shape public services around the citizen and realise the goal of truly joined-up and personalised government.