Having written and posted what I did in Uncivil service, I carried on Googling this partnership of the HMRC and Experian, which has to be the partnership from hell. In contrast, I managed to find that the HMRC is also funding a separate advice website with the Low Incomes Tax Reform Group called revenuebenefits. This website is much more user-friendly than the processing nightmare that HMRC/Experian have cobbled together. A further site they are involved in recently picked up HMRC on the equalities issues surrounding their newish system – Fraud prevention matters more than equality to HMRC.
The worrying part is that Francis Maude keeps talking about employing private sector partners to provide identity checking for government services. Let us pray that they can do better than the HMRC has done, and somebody in government brings the HMRC to its senses.