Five suppliers have been chosen to deliver the IT systems for the National Identity Scheme (NIS) project.
The Home Office announced that CSC, EDS, Fujitsu, IBM and Thales have all been invited to sign framework contracts and form a Strategic Supplier Group for the scheme. All five will compete to win specific contracts for the various multi-mullion pound projects involved in the ID card scheme.
Bill Crothers, executive director at Identity and Passport Service (IPS) said: “I am very proud of what has been achieved. This contract is both innovative and protective of the public purse and all five suppliers have agreed to provide a co-operative working environment.”
By using a Strategic Supplier Group, IPS will be able to carry out shorter procurement processes, meaning contracts for services can be issued more quickly and easily.
The first competition will be to identify which supplier will support the delivery of identity cards for airside workers.
Starting in November this year compulsory identity cards will be introduced for foreign nationals.
From late 2009 cards will be rolled out to "those employed in sensitive roles or locations" where identity assurance is important to public protection, such as airside workers.
From 2010 identity cards will be available on a voluntary basis to young people to assist them in proving their identity as they start out on their independent life in society.