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Comply with the ‘Once-Only’ principle by 2022

Last updated: 02:49pm 8 December 2019

We will set out a strategy to rationalise the use of personal data within government, reducing data duplication across all systems, so that we automatically comply with the ’Once-Only’ principle in central government services by 2022 and wider public services by 2025.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.81

Our verdict

The Once Only Principle, launched by the European Commission in January 2017, is the idea that citizens and businesses should provide their personal information to public administrations only once, and authorities should take action to internally share and reuse that data – even across borders – with regard to current data protection regulations and with explicit consent. This principle is part of the EU’s eGovernment Action Plan 2016-2020 to develop the Digital Single Market by reducing the administrative burden on citizens and businesses. This policy promises that government services will comply with the Once Only Principle by 2022.

Since the general election, the government has worked to improve identity standards, and to implement Verify, a platform to confirm identity for online public services. In July 2019, the government reaffirmed its commitment to make sure that digital identification only has to happen once, and launched a consultation on Digital Identity. The consultation closed in September 2019 and feedback is currently being analysed.

The government started working towards ensuring compliance to the Once Only Principle, but by the end of its time in office had not satisfied the defining criterion of citizens needing to “provide diverse data only once in contact with public administrations”. This policy remains ‘in progress’.

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