Feeds

Death of ID card scheme left £6.5m of kit going begging

Should it plug a budget hole or a landfill hole?

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

The government is working out what to do with £6.5m worth of kit left gathering dust after it pulled the plug on the ID card scheme earlier this year.

Home Secretary Theresa May was asked in a commons question: what the cost was of IT equipment purchased by or on behalf of the government in respect of the identity cards scheme; what was done with that equipment when she decided to end that scheme; and how much such equipment will be deployed for other purposes in government.

Standing in for his boss, Home Office minister Damian Green said that the previous administration had spent £6.5m "in respect of the Critical Workers Identity Card and Early Interest Scheme".

The first ID cards were targeted at airport and airline workers, and keen as mustard ID fans in Manchester and the North West.

That kit had now been withdrawn, Green explained, and "securely stored".

He added: "Assets and IT equipment relating to the National Identity Register require disposal/destruction and IPS will ensure that this happens in line with agreed guidelines."

If this seems a shocking waste, it's worthwhile remembering that £6.5m is just a drop in the ocean compared to the estimated £300m Labour spent on the flagship scheme. Of that, according to previous statements by Green, "£41 million [was spent] developing the policy, legislation and business case for the introduction of identity cards".

However, it does not appear that all kit associated with the ill-fated scheme will be trashed, pulped or otherwise smashed.

"As our IT equipment is generally managed under contract by our IT service providers, they will manage the re-use or disposal according to central government security policies," said Green. "The Home Office has a general policy of sharing, re-use and commonality of IT capabilities, in order to increase efficiency, reduce costs and improve environmental sustainability."

Which suggests that somewhere, in a government department, there will be a little corner of an office that will forever be part of the ID card scheme. Or at least till the government loosens spending on IT kit. Whichever comes sooner... ®

Application security programs and practises

More from The Register

next story
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.