ID cards: eight suppliers make shortlist

The Identity and Passport Service has shortlisted eight suppliers for the government’s £5.4bn ID card scheme.

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The Identity and Passport Service has shortlisted eight suppliers for the government’s £5.4bn ID card scheme.

Procurement for the controversial scheme – which the Conservative Party has pledged to axe if it comes to power – began in August, during the parliamentary recess.

The IPS has now invited Accenture, CSC, EDS, Fujitsu, IBM, Steria and defence specialists BAE Systems and Thales to take part in competitive dialogue over the next few months before final tenders are sought for the National Identity Scheme (NIS) framework agreement.

The framework will cover replacement of core application and enrolment processes for passports and the provision of desktop infrastructure for the Identity and Passport Service, along with the replacement and upgrading of existing systems for fingerprint matching and storage.

Other projects that could be let under the framework include biometric recording, storage and matching, biographical background and identity checking services, passport and ID card production, biometric enrolment services, entitlement checking and associated case management services.

Each project called off against the framework is expected to run for up to 10 years.

IPS commercial director Bill Crothers said: “The announcement today of the shortlist of eight bidders represents another important milestone towards delivering the National Identity Scheme. We have been pleased with the level of interest shown in the National Identity Scheme by the industry and now have a solid core of eight 'prime' bidders who will go forward to the next stage of the procurement process.”

He added: “Of course involvement in the procurement process is not restricted to just the eight companies we have announced today. Each prime bidder has their own network of sub-contractors representing a wide range of industry talent.”

There were a total of 11 expressions of interest in the framework agreement and the eight shortlisted bidders were shortlisted following a pre-qualification questionnaire and a bidders conference held on 14 September.

Crothers added: "We will now start the process of Competitive Dialogue with the short-listed bidders. In line with our commitment to an open, co-operative and consultative approach to procuring the National Identity Scheme, we want this to be a fully two way process.”

The framework contract with approximately five prime suppliers is expected to be in place by May next year.

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