Feeds

IPS ditches e-passport system

Writes off £10.8m

Mobile application security vulnerability report

The Identity and Passport Service has written off £10.8m in dropping a scheme for electronic passport applications.

The management board of IPS has decided to abandon the electronic passport applications (EPA2) scheme, which it started in 2005 and opened in May 2006, according to the agency's annual report (pdf).

The system, which cost £10.8m, allowed applicants to fill in forms and pay online, although these still then needed to be printed, signed and sent physically with old travel documents and photographs.

But EPA2, which was set up by Siemens Business Services, was closed within weeks of its trial opening, after it caused long delays in issuing passports to many of the 18,000 applicants who used the system.

In 2006 and 2007, IPS said it was hoping to reinstate EPA2 when it had sorted out technical problems which caused the delays.

In justifying the decision to abandon the project, the 2008 annual report says "any further investment in EPA2 would have had a limited period in which to deliver the expected retendering of the contract to support operational systems from 2009".

Instead, IPS will develop online applications within the new contracts for passports and the National Identity Scheme, which it is currently procuring. It says that it is reusing hardware and software from EPA2 where it is suitable, but ending the programme has still required a writing off £10.8m in assets.

The report says IPS will revert to a "more limited programme of enhancements to live systems". It currently offers a service allowing passport details to be entered online, although a printed form is then returned to the applicant for signing.

IPS expects to issue 5.59m passports in the year ending March 2009, and to interview 400,000 first-time applicants face to face. Applications have fallen from 6.6m in 2005-06 to 5.9m in 2007-08, according to a business plan (pdf), issued separately to the annual report.

The plan also says that over the next 12 months the IPS intends to access systems within other government departments when issuing documents, starting with the Department for Work and Pension's customer information system, to check for fraudulent applications.

It will also work on the Critical Workers Identity Cards Scheme, which will be compulsory for many airport employees, and will be introduced in the second half of 2008. The business plan says that more groups of people "employed in positions of trust" will become subject to this scheme at a later date, and that IPS will work with customers and industry groups "to define the market requirements for new identity checking services".

This article was originally published at Kablenet.

Kablenet's GC weekly is a free email newsletter covering the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. To register click here.

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
UK.gov's Open Source switch WON'T get rid of Microsoft, y'know
What do you mean, we've ditched Redmond in favour of IBM?!
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
US Social Security 'wasted $300 million on an IT BOONDOGGLE'
Scrutiny committee bods probe derailed database project
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Australia floats website blocks and ISP liability to stop copyright thieves
Big Content could get the right to order ISPs to stop traffic
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.