Government to announce ID card shortlist

The Government will today announce a shortlist of companies given the go-ahead to bid on the £2 billion UK ID card project.

The bidding process for the system is set to continue to the next phase, despite the fact that the Conservative party has promised to scrap the plans entirely if they gain power.

“We’ve written to the Cabinet Secretary last year, and all the major contractors, putting them on formal notice that we would cancel it. We have asked the Cabinet Secretary to confirm that they have not signed up to any painful cancellation clauses,” says a Tory spokesperson, speaking to the Times.

Only five companies stand a chance to win the contract to develop the infrastructure needed for the ambitious system: IBM, Fujitsu, CSC, Thales and EDS. Accenture, BAE and Steria were all at one time linked to the project, but have since pulled out of the bidding process.

It is expected that today’s announcement will see one further company lose the chance of bidding. Critics have attacked the fact that few of the proposed suppliers are based in the UK, leaving the possibility of biometric and personal data being stored outside the country.

Recent data loss scandals have further undermined public support for what was already an unpopular project, leaving critics worried that their biometric information could be vulnerable.

However, earlier this week it emerged that the Home Office was outlining plans for another massive database, this time to store details of every phone call made, email sent and browsing session within the UK.

The Office claimed that the system would provide help to law enforcement officers in tracking down and prosecuting criminals and terrorists.


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