Suppliers deny ID card delay prompted back-off

Accenture and BAE Systems have denied that probable delays to the UK National Identity Scheme ID Card prompted their withdrawal from its procurement process

The two big names simultaneously withdrew, rejecting suggestions that possible delays to the scheme's delivery date had caused them to abandon their bids.

There has been speculation that the series of recent UK public sector data losses will cause information commissioner Richard Thomas to call for more stringently secure controls of the management of any ID card database ̵1; these changes would push the delivery date forward from 2010 to 2012.

"The reason for our withdrawal is that at this stage of the competition our assessment is that our bid would not contain every element necessary to deliver to the customer's requirement," a BAE Systems spokesperson told Engineering & Technology magazine. "We continue to monitor the programme with interest."

Meanwhile a spokesperson for Accenture commented: "The Home Office/IPS is in the process of pulling together a list of companies that will then be eligible to bid for future work packages, which together will deliver the National Identity Scheme. On this occasion, we have decided not to seek to be selected for this 'framework'. However, we remain committed to our work in UK government."

According to Dominic Trott, consultant with IT market research and consulting form Pierre Audoin Consultants, there has been some positive news for the government with the launch of the UKvisas project, managed by CSC. "The government now claims that this represents the first stage in the ID programme," Trott says, "and it will look to highlight all signs of progress, in order to keep the remaining suppliers involved in the national scheme."
www.accenture.com, www.bae.com, www.pac-online.com

Image: Possible delays to the National Identity scheme's delivery date were not the reason why Accenture and BAE Systems abandoned their bids

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