Pioneering Serco partnership maximises on-line service standards and efficiencies for local authorities
Date : 01 December 2010
Citizens and local authorities are to benefit from a user-friendly and secure identity solution for all on-line services.
In a major move to capitalise fully on the potential of on-line technologies to help local authorities to improve productivity and service provision as budgets are squeezed, Serco's local government business in the UK has confirmed a pioneering partnership with Microsoft and Identity Management specialists, GB Group.
The first collaboration of its kind has now resulted in the introduction of a breakthrough service solution that enables citizens to verify their identity remotely when accessing information or entitlements from a local authority. Significantly, this provides a single and secure 'platform' for all on-line services and eliminates the inconvenience and inefficiencies of traditional practices for verifying user identity.
The new service is aligned closely with the Government Gateway future design initiative to establish a common, trusted and secure way for all citizens' on-line transactions. Now, local authorities can provide a full range of on-line services where citizens only need to register their personal details when they first use the system. Once their identity has been verified, they are then issued with a unique electronic identity 'token' for all subsequent on-line transactions with the local authority. Highly convenient for citizens without the risk of personal details being compromised, the new self-service solution reduces the need for paper transactions and is expected to deliver substantial savings for local authorities.
The first authority to take advantage of the new on-line solution is the London Borough of Enfield. The Council, which recently awarded Serco a five year, £24m information and communications technology contract, has confirmed that it will be introducing the first phase of the new on-line service in January 2011.
"We are incredibly pleased with the potential benefit it provides to citizens in terms of secure access and safe transactions," says Councillor Andrew Stafford, Cabinet Member for Finance at Enfield. "Data security is critical to raising confidence in online transactions and this solution provides not just Enfield but other local authorities the ability to verify someone's identity quickly and effectively. We're delighted to be leading the way in this development marking a step change in our approach to using technology to not only improve the customer experience but save money which we can use to protect frontline service delivery."
"Like most local authorities, the London Borough of Enfield is determined to maximise its on-line resources and accessibility to all of its services," adds Serco's Nigel Bates. "Our highly productive partnership with GB Group and Microsoft has now resulted in a practical and flexible solution that meets both short and long term objectives for any local authority. Indeed, we expect the solution to be adopted widely throughout local government as well as by other organisations that require a secure 'platform' for on-line transactions."
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