Policy News Journal - 2014-15

Briefing Note – April 2014

Agent Online Self Serve and HMRC digital services

We thought that agents would like another update on HMRC’s progress introducing new digital services and some information about the work we’ve been doing recently with the Government Digital Service (GDS) on Identity Assurance (IDA). Our last Briefing Note explained the importance of IDA to Agent Online Self Serve (AOSS) and that IDA will enable agents (and agent firms) to verify that they are who they say they are when they transact with government departments online. IDA with Authority Management is the service that will enable users of online services to transact on behalf of others. • HMRC and the Government Digital Service (GDS) have just moved into what’s known as the ‘Alpha’ phase for IDA with Authority Management for organisations and agents. ‘Alpha’ is still exploratory and means learning, not building, but the end result will be the design of a simulated service to test the process for verifying that an organisation exists and that someone within an organisation such as a director, an employee or an agent acting on behalf of an individual or organisation has the authority to do so. • We will need to develop a proposition that can be used across government for example DVLA, DWP and Companies House all have an interest in how IDA is being developed. • Workshops have taken place to establish the demographics of the various agent firms who will need to obtain IDA credentials (Large, Mid-sized, Voluntary and Community Sector agents and sole traders). We know that different types of agents will have differing requirements so we have also been developing a number of interesting and challenging scenarios where IDA with Authority Management will apply. • We will then sketch out and begin to develop the initial screens to take users on a trial journey to, for example, delegate authority to transact with government to an employee of an organisation or enable a client to delegate authority to their new agent. • We know that there are lots of questions we will need to answer – Where/how will authority to act on behalf of another be stored? Should there be different types of authority? What would be the minimum amount of information an Identity Provider would need in order to verify an organisation’s or individual’s identity? • We expect this (Alpha) phase of the project to run for about three months and involve user research and testing of our products with agents – probably from the end of April/early May onwards.. GDS plans to visit a few agents in their offices as part of this phase of research so we’ll be approaching some of our agent volunteers to see if they’re happy to help with this. • Alongside this work the Agent Online Self Serve project will be running separate alpha testing of HMRC services for agents including registration, the migration of existing agent/client relationships and the design of an agents’ homepage to provide access to client data and agent services. • Another project will look at how to make third party software products compatible with these new services. We are talking to software developers to understand how authority/delegate management is designed into their products now and the changes we’ll need to make for the future. We’ll involve agents in these discussions too. What’s been happening?

CIPP Policy News Journal

08/04/2015, Page 176 of 521

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