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National Identity Register

Volume 488: debated on Monday 23 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) whether the biographical component of the National Identity Register will be held on the Department for Work and Pensions customer information systems; and what other legacy systems will be linked to it; (258111)

(2) what measures the Identity and Passport Service plans to put in place to prevent officials from the Department for Work and Pensions from accessing its information held on the National Identity Register.

In order to maintain a necessarily high level of security, the National Identity Register will not be directly linked to any other Government databases and no third party organisation will have direct access to the information held on the register.

Our suppliers are currently building the system that will store the biographic information that will be enrolled when we begin issuing identity cards from the second half of this year.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate she has made of the cost to other Departments of (a) making and (b) servicing individual verifications of their data held on the National Identity Register. (258114)

Government Departments already require individuals to provide proof of identity in order to access many services. Identity cards will be more convenient and secure than the array of documents that are currently used to prove identity, thus making the process more efficient from the very beginning.

Linked to the National Identity Register, identity cards will provide a range of levels of identity verification the majority of which will be a basic visual check of the card and not all transactions will require a check against the Register.

It will be the responsibility of any Government Department to decide what level of identity verification they require and if they wish to invest in equipment, such as card readers, or identity verification services provided by the Identity and Passport Service.