The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Government explores private sector interest in online igovt services

27 August 2009

The Department of Internal Affairs wants to hear from businesses that could benefit if the secure online igovt logon service and igovt identity verification service is extended beyond government agencies.

The services use information already held by the government to verify people's identities online, but only when people choose to do so.

The Department today released an Invitation to Present Commercial Opportunities. It asks for responses from organisations with specialised expertise and innovative ideas for online services. This follows a Cabinet decision on 24 August to continue the roll-out of igovt over the next two years using the existing funding, and explore options for commercial sector involvement in the programme.

Internal Affairs is interested in any proposals for commercial use of the services, including through public-private partnerships. Businesses might be interested only in using the services, or might want to take part in developing, distributing or increasing public and private sector use of igovt services.

In any arrangement, the government would continue to own and protect personal information about people. New Zealanders would be able to choose if they wanted to use igovt services. By doing so, their identity and privacy would be protected when doing business online.

People would have to give their consent each time their personal information was sent to a participating service provider. The government would have no way of knowing what people did on a private organisation's website, and this information also could not be shared between organisations offering and using igovt services.

Quotes attributable to Annette Offenberger, Identity Services' General Manager.

"The igovt idea is to use the information the Department already has to produce trusted documents, such as passports and birth certificates, to allow people to prove who they are online. It's the same idea as showing someone your passport as a form of identity.

"The igovt services will give participating service providers a high level of confidence in the identity of an individual, but the service provider will only get the minimum amount of information needed to enable an individual to access their services."

For more information

Media contact: Iain MacLeann
DDI: 04 382 3700
Mobile: 027 420 3056

Background about igovt logon service and identity verification service