Building UCD requires collaboration, across and between the public and private sectors. The various departments of government seem to find this difficult, perhaps because (i) their budgeting process often creates departmental silos, rather than tacking a problem in the round; and (ii) the public-procurement-process makes it hard for them to back any initiative not proposed by government itself.
But where there is a will . . . . since autumn ’22, UCDx has corresponded with ministers in four different government departments, specifically DfE, DCMS (as was), DSIT, and the Treasury. The replies, where received, are only useful as summaries of where each department’s current postion: there is little evidence of willingness to think further.
There’s also a paper about the relevance of UCD to Open Banking, dated March 22.
department for education
Letter to Gillian Keegan, Nov 22
This letter, sent soon after Mrs Keegan took up her role as Secretary of State for Education, suggests that UCD provides necessary new infrastructure for education, leading with a portable personal achievement record, and is a better prospect than DfE’s own internal Project Titan.
This letter, sent in October 22 to Julia Lopez as minister for digital identity (etc) in DCMS, suggests that UCD provides a route to achieve many of the ‘stretch’ objectives in her department’s identity programme – which would otherwise appear to be out of reach
DCMS issued a call for evidence about digital identity in mid-2019. This contribution, submitted by PIB-d (before the creation of UCDx), argues that the real problem is not ‘digital identity’ specifically, but ‘user control of trustworthy personal data’ generally.
. . . . in which we point out that DSIT’s behaviour verges on the inconsistent in that (i) its innovation funding unit – InnovateUK – has grant funded the UCD concept twice; while (ii) its digital identity unit continues to regard UCD as a private sector ‘product’, and thus not something that government can endorse. The reality is that UCD is a proposal for new digital infrastructure that can only be taken forward by a collaboration between public and private sectors.
This is a discussion note about complementarity between, and possible convergence of, UCD and the Open Banking reforms. It summarizes certain conversations with people working for the Open Banking Implementation Entity. Note that the term ‘User Control of Data’ is beginning to replace PDE.