Biometric passports, and ID cards, signs up BPO provider

The government has brought in Steria as a business process outsourcer for its £4.7 billion identity cards scheme, as well as to support biometric passport applications.

Days after it emerged the government was delaying a crucial contract for the ID cards’ production, potentially until after a general election, the Identity and Passport Service has announced a deal that will see Steria support CSC as a subcontractor.

CSC has a £385 million deal to develop a passport and ID card application system, while IBM is providing a fingerprint and biometric database.

Steria will provide services to help manage the front-end of passport applications, including data verification. It aims to help the IPS process applications quickly and accurately.

But Steria hinted that its BPO services "in the future, may also be used" for the ID cards scheme. That programme faces uncertain times, particularly if the card production deal is not awarded until after the election.

Last week the Conservative Party warned suppliers it would scrap the whole programme if it won the general election, explicitly advising them they were at risk if they signed up.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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