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 22This 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.download
Letter2 to Gillian Keegan, Dec 22Second letter to Mrs Keegan, sent as a reminder and progress update, a month after the first.download
Response from Mrs Keegan, dated Jan 23In this response, Mrs Keegan simply describes the current situation, and reserves judgement on the matter of which approach – UCD or Titan or another – is preferable.download
Letter3 to Mrs Keegan, March 23Further letter to Mrs Keegan, pointing out that wallets need to be be usable for both data and money, and thus the need for HMT to participate in the discussion.download
Response from Robert Halfon MP, 27 Apr 23 . . in which DfE simply restates their current postion and does not address any of the issues raised in the third letter to to Mrs Keegan download

department for digital, culture, media & sport

Letter to Julia Lopez, Oct 22This 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 reachdownload
Response from Ms Lopez, received Dec 22.In this response, Ms Lopez declnes to address the main points of the original letter, stating that UCD is private sector ‘product’ and thus cannot be endorsed by governmentdownload
Submission to DCMS, sent Sep 19DCMS 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.download

department of science, innovation & technology

Letter to Michelle Donelan, March 23  . . . . 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.download
Reply from Paul Scully MP, 17 April 23. . in which DSIT simply restates their current postion and does not address any of the issues raised in the letter to Michelle Donelan.download

hm treasury

Letter to Andrew Griffith, March 23. . . pointing out that the development of a managed market of digital wallets can be seen as the next step towards more fully Open Bankingdownload
Reply from Mr Griffith . . . still awaited
UCD & Open Banking, Mar 2022This 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.download