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Identity Cards

Volume 474: debated on Tuesday 1 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of the findings of the Crosby Review of identity assurance in respect of the Government’s identity card proposals; and what further consideration she has given to the Government’s policy on identity cards in the light of the Review. (193699)

[holding answer 13 March 2008]: On 6 March I published the National Identity Scheme Delivery Plan 2008. This reflects the priorities I have set out—national security, public protection; convenience for the individual and cost-effectiveness.

In developing this plan the Government have benefited greatly from Sir James Crosby’s review.

Sir James Crosby strongly supports a universal identity scheme, including a role for identity cards, and makes a strong case for speedy and consumer-led introduction. He also argues that wherever possible the Government should use the market to deliver aspects of the scheme and this is reflected in our delivery plan.

Government will need to retain control of the overall quality and security of the scheme, as well as the ultimate decision on whether or not to issue an official identity document to any given individual.

But the private sector will be better placed to provide services relating to enrolment, such as fingerprint biometrics and digitized photographs, and the distribution of completed identity documents.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department with reference to Table 4 in the Identity Cards Scheme Cost report published in November 2007, (1) if she will provide a break down, by main budget heading of the costs which make up the £2,964 million in spending common to passports and ID cards; (182358)

(2) if she will provide a breakdown by main budget heading of the costs which make up the £1,005 million in spending specific to identity cards;

(3) if she will provide a breakdown by main budget headings of the costs which make up the £1,461 million in spending specific to passports.

Providing a further breakdown of common, passport specific and identity card specific cost estimates set out in the Cost Report is commercially sensitive information.

The Identity and Passport Service is currently engaging in discussions with suppliers for the procurement of services required to operate the National Identity Scheme. Many of these services are aligned to the same level of cost information that would need to be provided to answer these questions.