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Home Office details early ID vendors

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The Home Office has listed 3M and nCipher as providers to the early stage of the National Identity Scheme.

Home secretary Jacqui Smith said that as well as Thales' £18m contract for development of technology and processes – which was publicised last year – nCipher will be paid about £1.3m for a contract to provide "public key infrastructure and security related work".

nCipher, formerly a UK based security firm, is now a part of Thales, having been bought in October 2008.

The other vendors are 3M SP&SL, which will receive about £700,000 plus a fee for each card to design and produce the cards, which will be issued initially to staff at two airports later this year. Secure Mail Services has a deal to deliver the cards under which it will be paid per item.

The information appears in a letter (pdf) to Liberal Democrat shadow home secretary Chris Huhne. It is dated 15 December 2008, but has only just been released online by the House of Commons library, along with several others of the same date.

In another December letter (pdf), to Dominic Grieve, the Conservative's shadow justice secretary, Smith said that a web based service allowing people to check their "core identity information" on the National Identity Register will require secure remote authentication of that person.

However, she added that although the Home Office is investigating possible alternatives, "no final method has been decided", and no cost can be indicated at the moment.

In another letter (pdf) to Grieve released through the library, Smith provided spending figures for branding and marketing of the Identity and Passport Service. These show that it spent £1.7m on marketing in 2007-08, up from £239,000 in 2006-07.

This article was originally published at Kablenet.

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