Feeds

Civil servants touted ID cards to friends, family as flop loomed

Well-founded fears led to ignominious effort

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Civil servants were asked to encourage their family and friends to sign up for a now-defunct ID cards amid Whitehall fears the scheme would flop, confidential documents have revealed.

The documents, reported today by the Daily Telegraph following a Freedom of Information Act request, show how senior officials were urged to act as cheerleaders for ID cards by emailing personal contacts.

In the end, any such efforts were moot. Only 13,200 ID cards were issued before the coalition scrapped the scheme, which had cost £292m. Those that paid the £30 fee for a card have been told it will not be refunded.

The newly-released documents detail opposition to ID cards from workers at Manchester Airport, who the government used as guinea pigs for the scheme. A full-time "National Identity Card Administrator" was appointed to drum up demand, but only 15 per cent signed up.

The documents also highlight interference problems reported by card holders.

"One participant complained that the identity card interfered with other cards kept in the same wallet," a report said.

Shadow education secretary Andy Burnham, who was a Home Office minister when ID cards were under development, defended the scheme.

"The Tory-Lib Dem government are trying to make the cards a totem of what our government stood for - but I think they were a good idea and many people are still in favour of them," he said. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart
Mega-costly gas 'n' 'leccy totting-up tech not worth it - Tory MP
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
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
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.