LONDON Thales has beat off competition from CSC, EDS, Fujitsu and IBM to win a four year contract to support the U.K.'s Identity and Passport Service (IPS) in delivering the early releases of the National Identity Scheme (NIS). This contract award is worth £ 18million (about $ 36million).
Thales will work with IPS to design, build, test and operate the technology that will deliver the national identity register and support the issuing of identity cards from the second half of 2009.
3M-SPSL had won the contract to manufacture and supply identity cards for the roll-out to critical workers, including those employed airside at airports, starting in 2009. 3M-SPSL currently produces the biometric passport.
Starting in November this year compulsory identity cards will be introduced for foreign nationals. From late 2009 cards will be rolled out to those employed in sensitive roles or locations where identity assurance is important to public protection, such as airside workers.
From 2010 identity cards will be available on a voluntary basis to young people to assist them in proving their identity.
The enrolment of British citizens at high volumes will start from 2011/12, offering everyone a choice of receiving a separate identity card, passport or both.