May 10, 2007
For immediate release
The Home Office report on the likely costs of the UK Identity Cards Scheme issued today, reveals continuing problems with its ability to provide Parliament with timely and accurate estimates of the likely costs of the Scheme. In the report, it admits to having previously underestimated staffing costs of £460 million over ten years, while also having erroneously included costs of £510 million that should have been incurred by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
More worryingly, since the last cost report was issued the Identity and Passport Service has announced a radical redesign of the Scheme to reduce its risks and costs, but this redesign (which involves reusing existing Government investment in IT and dropping the use of IRIS scanning in the Scheme) appears to have had no noticeable effect on the overall costs of the Scheme.
Dr Edgar Whitley for the LSE Identity Project says: “Despite the Home Office’s best efforts to cut costs of the Scheme, the costs are still increasing. It is vital that Parliament uses the section 37 reports as they were originally intended, and undertakes an urgent, independent review of the progress with the Scheme at this time”.
A more detailed response to the report will be published by the LSE Identity Project shortly.
For LSE research and reports on identity policy please see http://identityproject.lse.ac.uk