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A key stage in the government's work to develop a national Identity ...
A key stage in the government's work to develop a national Identity

Cards scheme was reached today, as the home secretary announced that

PA Consulting Group will be working with the Home Office to develop

the scheme.

The government has chosen the company to work as its development

partner on the Identity Cards programme, to help determine the best

way of designing and implementing the scheme.

The company will work on the design, feasibility testing, business

case and procurement elements of the programme. As the programme

proceeds it will be subject to regular Office of Government Commerce

Gateway reviews.

Mr Blunkett said: 'The government's plan to bring in a national UK

Identity Cards scheme will bring enormous benefits to us as

individuals and as a society.

'This is an ambitious, long-term project which will be introduced

incrementally over a number of years. We are determined to get it

right, and bringing in expertise from outside government at this

early stage will help us do that.

'Experience from previous projects has shown that early detailed work

on feasibility and testing reduces the risks and increases success.

Our work with our development partner is one of the key parts of our

programme of work leading to the issuing of the first identity cards

from 2007/8.'

The development of the Identity Cards programme will remain at all

times in the control of the Home Office.


1. Approaches were made to a number of companies who have framework

agreements with the Office of Government Commerce to provide

management and business consultancy to government departments.

2. The contract has been let competitively and bids were assessed on

a Value for Money basis.

3. There are safeguards to ensure that this contract does not reduce

competition for later procurement exercises for the components to

build the scheme.

4. Further information on the OGC Gateway Revie w process is available


5. The government published a consultation paper on Entitlement Cards

and Identity Fraud on 3 July 2002. The consultation period ended on

31 January 2003. The public consultation and polling results were

published on 11 November 2003 and are available here.

6. The home secretary set out the government's plans for a national

identity card scheme in his Statement to Parliament on 11 November.

The draft Identity Cards Bill was published on 26 April 2004.

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