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This week's opinion: 11 April 2024

08 April 2024 / Andrew Hubbard
Issue: 4931 / Categories: Comment & Analysis
Value in single access point for government systems

For me one of the major frustrations with IT systems is actually getting into them. I hate to think about how much time I have wasted forgetting passwords, user names or memorable words – how is it that those memorable words always cease to be memorable just when you want to use them? I’m sure you, like me, have got stuck in an endless loop where you can’t remember your log in details so you ring the helpline and find that they won’t speak to you until you give them your log in details! IT security and ease of access are not natural bedfellows.

These thoughts came to mind when I read issue 118 of agent update that HMRC will be asking new users to log into GOV.UK via One Login rather than via a government gateway account ( Eventually everyone will have to use One Login, although no timescale has been announced. We have been here before of course. The government projected that by 2020, Verify, its single sign-on tool, would have 25 million users. But it never worked properly and was put out of its misery in 2023.

Some people have already suggested that this One Login will also be doomed to failure and that we are better off sticking with what we have already. I can see why this is being said – although there were a lot of complaints about the existing system – but the concept of a single access point seems to me to be worth pursuing. The fear is that the project will not be properly funded or will be pushed out too quickly without proper testing or consideration of those who are genuinely digitally excluded. We at Taxation will be keeping a close eye on progress and, as ever, will be interested in any feedback you send us.

If you do one thing...

See HMRC’s updated note at CG52633 on clearances where the arrangements are designed to remove a regulatory risk.

Issue: 4931 / Categories: Comment & Analysis
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