ID card infrastructure contracts go to IBM and CSC

The UK government has granted two contracts associated with the controversial ID card scheme to IT services giants IBM and CSC.

The £385 million contract to refresh the Identity and Passport Services IT infrastructure in advance of the further roll-out of identity cards was awarded to CSC, provider of some the UK’s largest public sector IT systems.

Perhaps more controversial, though, is the database of biometric identifiers which, it was revealed today, will be built and managed by IBM in a £285 million deal.

Earlier this month, two feasibility studies into the viability of ID cards conducted in 2003 – shortly before the UK government approved the scheme – were finally made publically available after four years of opposition by the government.

“The scheme does less good than hoped, with perceived benefits seemingly not on a scale to justify the costs and some erosion of public support for the scheme,” one of the reports says.

However, the government claims that the issues raised in the reports have since been resolved.

Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media plc from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The Economist Intelligence...

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