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Volume 507: debated on Monday 8 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his Department has plans to open new biometric enrolment centres. (318769)

[holding answer 25 February 2010]: The contract which the UK Border Agency has with Post Office Ltd. allows for eight post offices to be added to the pilot in the financial year 2010-11. No decision has yet been taken on whether to take up this option.

The Identity and Passport Service's (IPS) current planning assumptions allow for the provision of biometric enrolment centres during 2012. These will be delivered both through IPS offices as in-house services, and also by third party concession arrangements with one or more partners.

In the meantime the system currently in use by IPS for identity card enrolment for British citizens will continue to be incrementally rolled out, taking account of public demand and how we can achieve maximum benefit for the UK and its residents.