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Biometrics: Post Offices

Volume 506: debated on Monday 1 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which post office branches are equipped to allow customers to enrol their biometrics; and which post office branches are planned to be equipped to allow customers to enrol their biometrics in each of the next five years. (318771)

[holding answer 25 February 2010]: The UK Border Agency has entered into contract with Post Office Ltd. for a pilot scheme to enrol biometrics for migrants who are required to apply for an identity card. 17 post offices are taking part in the pilot as follows:




Earls Court

Old Street (London EC1)





Kingstanding (Birmingham)

Middleton (Manchester)





South Shields

Union Street (Aberdeen).

The contract allows for a further eight post offices to be added in 2010-11 but to date no decision has been made on extending the contract.

An Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) notice was published in December 2009, which notified the market of the Identity and Passport Service's (IPS) intention to commence a competition to award the biometric enrolment concession to potential partners. The outcome of this competition will determine who will provide these services, and how many biometric enrolment outlets will be provided across the UK. IPS's current arrangement with the Post Office does not involve biometric enrolment.