Competition heats up for U.K. identity card work
- By Alice Lipowicz
- Sep 19, 2007
Several U.S. companies are expected to participate in bidding for the upcoming $2 billion biometric national identity card system being developed in the United Kingdom.
Systems integrators such as Accenture Ltd., Computer Science Corp., EDS Corp. and IBM Corp. are among those that have expressed interest in the project, according to U.K. media reports. And biometrics companies such as Cogent Communications Inc., Cross Match Technologies Inc., L-1 Identity Solutions Inc. and Motorola Inc. also are expected to participate in the bidding process.
About 50 suppliers met in a recent conference with the U.K.'s Identity and Passport Service to review the upcoming procurement. The next stage is pre-qualification of suppliers.
The IPS published a notice last month in the Official Journal of the European Union inviting potential suppliers to express interest. This paved the way for a Framework Agreement, a contract creating a list of pre-qualified suppliers, along with a set of agreed contract terms. The passport service said in a statement on its Web site that it intends to fulfill its requirements from this pool of suppliers.
"I am confident that the supplier community will step up to the mark in helping us construct this key national asset," IPS Chief Executive James Hall said in a news release.
"To achieve the Scheme's objectives, IPS will need a range of capabilities that will come from a combination of the private and public sectors," Hall said in the announcement.
Hall said private-sector participants must be able to:
- Deliver large, complex, secure systems;
- Manage such systems to deliver reliable performance;
- Respond flexibly to evolving requirements and priorities;
- Deliver a consistent, high-quality customer experience to the millions of people who will use the Scheme; and
- Provide outstanding value for the money invested.
Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.