igovt login system

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 5:30pm Tuesday 15 December 2009

Over the past few years, the New Zealand government has been working on a single all-of-government logon service (igovt) and identity verification service (IVS). This will allow users to use the same logon details to access all participating government service provider's online services.

The government has predicted that igovt would deliver benefits worth between $641 million and $1.37 billion over 10 years by avoiding duplicated identity verification systems and making it easier for agencies to put more services on the web.

The first part of igovt the igovt logon service was introduced in 2007 and lets people access services provided by agencies through a shared logon system that allows a single username and password. You can read through the business cases and technical specifications here.

The second component, the "identity verification service" (IVS) has now been released and is designed to give Government agencies a high degree of confidence that people who have obtained a logon are who they say they are.

The New Zealand government jobs portal has implemented the igovt logon system for both job seekers and advertisers to use. This allows users to use their existing igovt logon to access the job site.

If you do not have an igovt account, the process is straight forward. First you fill out the standard registration fields and answer a number of verification questions. Easy, then you have created your igovt username and password.

From one side of the fence, implementing the logon system is a no-brainer for me. Either, the job site has to implement it's own login system (which can add a lot of red tape and can cost $$$) or spend a few thousand dollars to integrate the site with the existing login service.
But on the other side, as much as I love the idea of single username/password, I can't help but think governments are missing out on the next generation of public sector workers by restricting, and not integrating with existing protocols such as Facebook Connect, OpenID, etc. See my previous posts on integrating Facebook Connect with your job board and what is OpenID and how can we use it.

If you have a look at the different types of login services provided by other job sites. MyCareer is the only site I can think of, that does not have its own separate user system. Users need to use/create a Fairfax Digital account which can be used across all online sites.††

I havenít even touched on the subject of igovt feeling like a national ID card. We can leave that debate to another day.