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IBM sees £50m sliced from fingerprinting deal

UK national print database dropped

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Immigration Minister Damian Green has said the government will save £50m by renegotiating a contract previously linked to identity cards.

The saving will be made by abandoning plans to store fingerprints from UK nationals on a database, a commitment made by the coalition parties within their initial plans for government. The system will now store data only about visitors from outside the EU.

The revised contract will be worth £191m to IBM over seven years. It is scheduled for delivery at the end of 2011 to support the checking of biometric visas, registration cards for asylum seekers and biometric residence permits.

It will replace a system which was first commissioned in 2000, and is designed to be faster and more accurate.

In a parliamentary statement on 9 September 2010 Green said: "This system will strengthen our ability to control the entry of foreign nationals into the United Kingdom and identify those who pose a risk to our country.

"Those who have previously been deported, or committed a criminal offence, or been turned down for a visa will find it much harder to enter the UK."

This article was originally published at Kable.

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