Home Office passport fraud sweep flops
Security upgrade strike rate effing pathetic
The Home Office security upgrade scheme to catch passport fraudsters through face-to-face interviews has bagged just eight potential 'Jackals'.
The project, requiring first-time passport applicants to attend interviews with officials from the Identity and Passport Service (IPS), launched in 2007 and has resulted in no prosecutions or convictions.
More than half a million people have been interviewed through the scheme, kicking off 4000 fraud investigations, but only eight have been refused a passport on the evidence obtained. The Home Office is not able to say what has happened to these eight.
The Daily Telegraph got hold of the embarrassing figures after making a freedom of information request.
In response to the revelations, a Home Office spokesman said: "Identity authentication interviews were introduced to our passport process to make it more difficult to obtain passports fraudulently.
"They are just one part of a rigorous system, which includes checks prior to interview, which is designed to uncover fraudulent cases and to act as a strong deterrent to false applications."
Government estimates put fraudulent passport applications at 4,400 per year. The face-to-face interview system cost £93m to set up, and £30m a year to run.
By coincidence, a standard UK passport has leaped in price from £28 in 2001 to £77.50 today. ®
So it turns out...
... that RFID, fingerprints, databases, perv scanners, even face-to-face interviews, have exactly zilch effect. Except for soaring costs. And incessant pork-barreling.
So we had a pretty good system but just had to knee-jerk it into ever more expensive oblivion.
So what else is new? The scale and the brashness, perhaps. Carry on government.
... the whole exercise was probably really just an excuse to start developing systems required for ID cards...
I'd likely not get a passport, no idea when my fathers birthday is let alone what year he was what age - the whole process is a waste of time and money.
And the sort of town I was born in? Boring.
I'd prefer a 1000 fraudulant passports issued then £90million pounds wasted up front and an extra £30 million pounds wasted each year after. Any important check (like is the person on a suspected terrorist watch list) can be done back office.