Feeds

ID scheme plans 50,000 cards by April

Creaking to a start in time for Christmas

The essential guide to IT transformation

The National Identity Scheme will produce just 50,000 cards in its first few months – and has yet to define the role or budget of its commissioner.

In response to a parliamentary written question from Liberal Democrat shadow home secretary Chris Huhne, home secretary Jacqui Smith said that about 50,000 identity cards will be issued between the scheme's launch for foreign nationals between November and April 2009. "Volumes will rise rapidly thereafter and will depend on the speed of implementation and the nature of the immigration categories brought into the scheme," she added.

On 1 September, the UK Border Agency said it will start issuing cards to foreign nationals from outside the European Economic Area on 25 November, to those applying to stay in the country as students or through marriage.

The Home Office also revealed that the role and budget of the National Identity Scheme's commissioner – a post which is required by the Identity Cards Act 2006 – has not been decided.

In response to a parliamentary question asked by Lynne Jones on the budget for the commissioner, who is meant to oversee the scheme, identity minister Meg Hillier said: "The precise definition of the role of his or her office is still being finalised and, as a result, the budget has yet to be finalised."

An Identity and Passport Service spokesperson said that the commissioner will be primarily concerned with the National Identity Register for UK nationals, which will start next year with the introduction of identity cards for workers in sensitive posts including airside staff at airports.

The department also released information on the related e-Borders border control project. In response to questions from Damian Green, Nigel Evans and Philip Davies, Liam Byrne said that it had cost £133.5m by 31 January 2008, and that the biometric visa programme had been completed in December, "three months early and several millions pounds under budget".

He added that 2.5m fingerprint enrolments have generated more than 19,000 matches of data "recorded in connection with a previous immigration or asylum matter", with an average of 1,200 such matches each month. So far, this process has brought to notice more than 3,100 applications lodged using a different identity.

On the scheme's future, Byrne said that e-Borders will check and screen 60% of all passenger and crew movements in and out of the country by December 2009, 95 per cent by December 2010 and 100% by 2014. "We do not intend to publish details of those routes for which Passenger Name Record data will be captured as this is operationally sensitive," he added.

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.

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
Detroit losing MILLIONS because it buys CHEAP BATTERIES – report
Man at hardware store was right: name brands DO last longer
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
EU justice chief blasts Google on 'right to be forgotten'
Don't pretend it's a freedom of speech issue – interim commish
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
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.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.