OneScotland update: National Entitlement Card system is now live

Back in November, I noted the existence of the OneScotland project. Well, there’s been progress!

It’s being sold as part of the Scottish National Entitlement Card, “just one element in a wider Scottish Government sponsored programme called Customer First”.

The new Card Management System is able to deliver a full online solution for registration, processing and issuing of National Entitlement Cards (NEC) and will reduce most of the bureaucracy and cost involved in customers having to fill in application forms, return those forms for checking and have their picture taken at a photo booth.

Improvement Services have posted overviews here (press release) and here (basic information). I can’t find an actual OneScotland website, but there’s a picture of it and some more information over at the Scottish Government’s website (It is slightly disconcerting to find that the last available minutes from the Project Board are dated July 2008.)

The new system … utilises the local government citizen account system and the OneScotland national gazetteer to provide simpler validation and verification which in turn helps to improve data quality and ensure that customers’ details can be kept accurate and up to date.

More details on the Customer First Newletter [PDF].

Although there are a lot of advantages in having an agreed way to prove identity, and I’m personally not against ID cards as such,  I’ve not read enough to be clear on:

(a) how a holder of the card can view and manage the information held on them

(b) what security issues exist and how they are being managed and

(c) how this is conceptually different from the UK government’s (currently ‘voluntary’) ID card scheme and accompanying centralised, cross-linked, error-ridden databases (I’m sure it is!).

I’ll report back as I find out more.

Update 20 October 2009: I’m none the wiser, other than finding that in there’s nothing for me in Edinburgh (PDF with the most  jarring use of colours I’ve seen in a long time). I have fixed the link to the press release that had been broken by IS having (another!) reorganisation of their URIs.

About Peter Cruickshank

Lecturer in the School of Computing and a member of the Centre for Social Informatics at Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland. Interested in information systems, learning, politics, society, security and where they intersect. My attempts at rounding out my character include food, cinema, running, history and, together with my lovely wife, bringing up a cat and a couple of kids.
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5 Responses to OneScotland update: National Entitlement Card system is now live

  1. Anna Paterson says:

    I’ve just received my first One Scotland card. It was meant to be a bus pass – i.e. I’m far from being a Young Scot. The young are supposed to find the card very useful.
    What’s in it for pensioners, apart from the bus travel?
    It says I can “download services to the card”. DO WHAT?

  2. Hi Anna

    Thanks for visiting!

    I’m too old to be a Young Scot and too young for a buspass so I’ve not had any direct encounters with the OneScotland card. But I am amazed at the low level of web publiclity for the card – which is what triggered this post in the first place, and is I guess why my blog is on the first page of Google’s results if you search for ‘OneScotland card’.

    I’d have thought that someone would have worked out a nationwide publicity campaign, and also answered the obvious questions that you raise…

  3. Here’s an update on how the national entitlement card (which is part of the One Scotland infrastructure) is being used
    The questions they are asking our children.

    A question of give administrators a technology and they will find a way to abuse it?

    • sheila struthers says:

      Hi Peter

      Have been trying to find out a bit more about the OneScotland Portal and am having real difficulty coming up with anything recent.

      This document is the most detailed I’ve been able to find so far:

      “OneScotland Portal

      The aim of the OneScotland Portal Project is to set out a phased approach to the development of a citizen-facing portal for access to public services and information, and to develop and implement phase one of that portal. The phase one implementation will contain relatively shallow content and will act primarily as a signposting function out to content on existing websites. It will link to the citizens account, which is being developed through the Customer First programme, to enable citizens to access facilities allowing them to maintain their basic personal details and to personalise their services. Phase one will concentrate on services and information delivered by the Scottish Government, its agencies, NDPBs and local authorities.

      The primary benefit of phase one is to provide citizens with a single, memorable and convenient point of access to public services and public service information provided by the Scottish Government, its Agencies and NDPBs, as well as key local authority services. This will help citizens to find what they are looking for across existing citizen-facing websites without having to understand organisational boundaries or be familiar with the large number of public sector websites already in existence.

      Subsequent phases are dependent on the development of supporting business cases and funding approval but are broadly conceived as follows:

      * Phase Two – further content migrated into the portal, signposting to additional public service providers represented, introduction of the Citizen’s Account to other/additional services, more strategic marketing approach aimed at people already using the Citizen Account
      * Phase Three – a fully integrated one stop shop service, deep content, single seamless log on and authentication through Citizens’ Account, delivery of shared services through the infrastructure, wider Scottish public sector representation, better control over public sector web-site development and governance, personalisation and high functionality utilising the existing infrastructure.

      The Scottish Government is working with the Improvement Service to ensure that the National Infrastructure is fully utilised as a platform for an integrated OneScotland Portal solution, in particular converging with the development of the Scottish Citizen Portal.”

      I’ve been collating the rest of Kenneth Roy’s excellent articles and other recent coverage the Scottish surveillance scandal on this forum thread:

      I think the Scottish Review coverage may have ruffled a feathers which may explain the lack of publicity for this – Girfec (Getting it right for every child) and eCare related documents were “archived” or removed from the Scottish Government’s website very shortly after Kenneth’s first series of articles and the intended PR exercise that was the privacy panel had their privacy principles released quietly just before Christmas when the headlines were full of the the Tommy and Gail trial.

      There are well meaning people all over Scotland involved with a myriad of different workstreams who would be horrified if they knew how they were all to be connected.

      I have been known to rant on about this so will shut up. Happy to provide further links if need be…

      • Thanks for that – and sorry about the long time to approve the comment. My attention wondered from my blog for a few weeks 😦

        I think I’m pretty much in agreement about your points – the whole project seems to be a bit (deliberately) under-the-rader

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