Site icon Alan Mather – In The Eye Of The Storm

Government Gateway is 22

All that time ago, in 2001, we put it live on Burns Night (well, strictly speaking, Burns Morning – it went live at around 5am).

For a while we ran the project with the code name “Caledonia” as the then Minister of the Cabinet Office was (is) Scottish; we picked the live date of January 25 in his honour as he provided the strongest sponsorship we could have asked for, along with the perm secs at the Inland Revenue (Sir Nick Montagu) and MAFF (the late Sir Brian Bender).

I no longer know how much, if any, of the Gateway is still live. Whilst GDS blew more than £200m on their nine lives but eventually dead Verify, HMRC quietly got on with business and moved the Gateway to the cloud. The website is gone but my original userid and password still work whenever I file a tax return. Maybe some of the code is still there, certainly the APIs and the XML parser, but perhaps it was all replaced.

In the meantime, GDS appear to be paving the cow path with onelogin – doesn’t work for businesses, doesn’t support delegates or representatives but does, at least, seem to have the wide support within departments that Verify never earned and so never got. Is this the one to get it right? I hope so. But those who know me will know that I am not holding my breath.

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