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ChumpusRex

What Is The Point Of The "government Gateway" Web System?

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If you've tried to do your tax return online, or do various other government related things online, the chances are you'll have had to register for government gateway.

My first impression was that this was some sort of "single sign on" system, with identity verification, etc.

Except that it isn't. You can't usually add a new service to an existing "user name", and instead you will have to apply for a new randomly generated user id for every system.

OK. At least a random user id helps hinder guessing and high-profile accounts. Nope. The "user id" isn't tied to any account. You can reapply for as many user ids as you want, to access the same resource.

Perhaps, it helps identify you, so that your specific-system account can be found (e.g. for HMRC). Nope. It doesn't do that either. You still need your unique taxpayer reference number to do anything.

DVLA, for example, appear to use it only for the login process. Actually doing anything useful requires you to have your driver number, or V5C serial number, or some other information. So the GG ID serves no purpose whatsoever, apart from perhaps ticking a box saying that DVLA's web site is GG compliant.

Never mind that the system interchangeably uses terms such as "user name", "user ID" to mean both a local system user name, and the GG unique ID.

Am I alone in thinking this system is completely mad?

I'm not one to normally go on a rant about bad web design, as it is ubiquitous, but this GG thing really seems to take idiocy to a new level.

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Government+IT=madness! :blink:

The VED thing works though!

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Government + computer systems = illogical disaster.

You just beat me to it! :unsure:

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I was involved in the meetings where they were laying out specifications for external software providers to interface with GG. There seemed to be a dozen different groups of contractors/consultants all working to different specs and no-one with any kind of master plan at all. Comedy gold. We decided not to have anything to do with it, and have had no cause to regret that.

I assume it's not long for this world as the direct gov stuff is being phased out and replaced by the gov.uk devs, equally shit but cheaper (or maybe just better at accounting games).

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I got 5 IDs.

It seems if you keep the browser to remember passwords, it all works...change PC and you seem to need a new UN/PW and it fails always on the day of the deadline.

Im not sure what it is for...I have them for VAT, Tax returns, Job seeking and more VAT and Tax returns that have forgotten my password.

And there is no way to get a password reset except to ring them, and get sent a special code in a secret envelope.

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Probably had one REAL IT bloke doing it and 10,000 'IT' Project Managers.

It is ******.

That's where the money goes! :ph34r:

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