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Identity Cards: Costs

Volume 498: debated on Tuesday 27 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the cost of the (a) design and (b) development of identity cards was in each of the last eight years. (295431)

Since the merger of the Home Office Identity Cards programme and the UK Passport Service to create the Identity and Passport Service on 1 April 2006, projects to deliver passports including facial images and fingerprints, identity cards and other improvements have been necessarily combined. As much of the technology and operational processes needed to implement identity cards are also required for the implementation of these new passports, this is the most cost-effective way to deliver these initiatives.

Much of the work conducted by Identity and Passport Service cannot be categorised, either financially or operationally, as contributing towards either the introduction of passports with facial images and fingerprints or identity cards alone. The work is accounted for as future development projects. Total spend since April 2006 to September 2009 on future development projects encompassing the NIS is £216 million. The spend on future development projects in the 2006-07 financial year amounted to £30.9 million. The costs accounted for as future development projects in the 2007-08 financial year were £61.7 million, £81.5 million in 2008-09 and approximately £42 million for the period April to September 2009.

Between the financial years 2003-04 and 2005-06, £41.1 million was spent by the Home Office Identity Cards programme in total.