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Identity Cards

Volume 458: debated on Thursday 15 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate his Department has made of the likely rate of error of identity cards. (126594)

An estimate for the likely number of errors on identity cards produced cannot be finalised until further design and testing of technologies underpinning the issuing process is completed.

There will be a number of steps taken to ensure the accuracy of information to be recorded on identity cards and held on the National Identity Register. These include the following:

Checks to verify information provided by applicants against other sources (e.g. identity information held by other Government Departments) in order to confirm its veracity.

Physical examination of relevant supporting documentation to ensure that it is valid and corresponds with information provided on the application form and the results from the electronic checks mentioned above.

Attendance in person, allowing information to be clarified and checked with the applicant if necessary.

The production of effective enrolment procedures and materials. These will be designed on the basis of existing experience gained from the award winning customer service processes in place at the Identity and Passport Service for issuing passports to ensure they are clear and citizen friendly in order to reduce the potential for errors caused by innocent mistakes by applicants.

The implementation of robust anti-fraud procedures. Security policies and appropriate working procedures are being designed to prevent and detect fraud originating from either applicants or staff members.

The introduction of the recording of biometric information such as fingerprints. Biometric recording provides the ability to make a much stronger link between the information recorded on the register and the individual associated with it, thus providing a more powerful means to detect attempts by individuals to register multiple identities.