ID card programme launched: another government fisaco in the making

August 10, 2007 10:54 AM

Today's Financial Times reports:


"A £2bn procurement programme to build and run the contentious identity card scheme was launched by the government on Thursday.

Five suppliers will be chosen to compete for contracts worth up to £500m each, officials said....

The contracts would be worth between £50m and £500m, officials said. The two largest tenders, each for about £500m, will cover the identity database and the handling of applications and enrolment.

A bidding conference will be held in September, with the first contracts awarded next spring."


To say nothing of the follies of organising an intrusive identity card system, awarding an individual IT contract worth £500 million is surely a recipe for disaster. Yet another government IT project fiasco looks likely. It seems as though politicians will never learn from their mistakes and never recognise that they lack the management experience and subject knowledge to ensure that contracts run smoothly.


The Conservatives have rightly promised to scrap the ID card project if they get into power. But if the record of past government IT projects, such as the Child Support Agency, is anything to go by, there will be nothing left to scrap.

Today's Financial Times reports:


"A £2bn procurement programme to build and run the contentious identity card scheme was launched by the government on Thursday.

Five suppliers will be chosen to compete for contracts worth up to £500m each, officials said....

The contracts would be worth between £50m and £500m, officials said. The two largest tenders, each for about £500m, will cover the identity database and the handling of applications and enrolment.

A bidding conference will be held in September, with the first contracts awarded next spring."


To say nothing of the follies of organising an intrusive identity card system, awarding an individual IT contract worth £500 million is surely a recipe for disaster. Yet another government IT project fiasco looks likely. It seems as though politicians will never learn from their mistakes and never recognise that they lack the management experience and subject knowledge to ensure that contracts run smoothly.


The Conservatives have rightly promised to scrap the ID card project if they get into power. But if the record of past government IT projects, such as the Child Support Agency, is anything to go by, there will be nothing left to scrap.

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