‘Numbered citizens would help delivery’

Plans to compile a register and allocate unique identity numbers to
every UK citizen would support “joined-up delivery” in the public
sector, the government has said.

A team from the Office for National Statistics and the Treasury
have carried out a study into developing a UK population register,
which would hold basic information such as names, addresses and
contact information for every citizen for use by the public sector.

It could also support initiatives such as the Department for
Education and Skills’ identification, referral and tracking of
children at risk.

But British Association of Social Workers director Ian Johnston
said he was sceptical about the proposals, adding that better
joined-up working required less centralisation of services and
improved working between professionals on the ground.

“I don’t think a population register will be the panacea the
government thinks it will be,” Johnston said.

– The proposals will now go out for consultation. More on the plans
at www.statistics.gov.uk/registration/cip.asp

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