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Contract awarded for next generation of passports


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Issued 11/06/2009

The next generation of British passports will be delivered under a new 400 million contract announced today.

The Identity and Passport Service (IPS) has announced De La Rue has won the contract to produce the new British passport book.

The passport, which will be available from October 2010, will have a new design and improved security features including the capacity to hold fingerprint biometrics. It will give citizens added protection from identity theft and help secure borders against passport and identity fraud.

The contract will ensure the British passport keeps pace with the most advanced international standards for travel documents.

James Hall, Chief Executive of the Identity and Passport Service, said:

"The British passport is recognised as one of the best in the world and we want to keep it that way. Today we are affirming our commitment to making this travel document more secure than ever by using fingerprint biometrics.

"Upgrading the British passport is essential to keep pace with the most advanced international standards for travel documents and will ensure that British citizens have the freedom to travel easily worldwide.

"De La Rue has shown it is superbly placed to deliver this large project and we are delighted they are working with us."

The procurement process for the contract started with 20 prospective bidders in June 2008, before De La Rue was awarded the 400 million contract to design and produce the next generation passport.

James Hussey, CEO of De La Rue, said:

"The Identity and Passport Service was looking for a partner it could rely on to deliver the complete service for the UK passport. As a British company, producing passports and identity documents for over 50 governments, De La Rue is proud to be selected to bring its expertise to this project. This contract further reinforces De La Rue's strong growth in the identity sector."


1. During the past two years, the Identity and Passport Service (IPS) has successfully introduced a range of procedures and systems to prevent identity and passport fraud. In March 2006 we launched one of our most important counter-fraud initiatives, the biometric passport.

The biometric passport was given a new design and improved security features which were not present on previous passports, including intricate designs, complex watermarks and a chip antenna.

2. The next generation passport will allow safer international travel for all British citizens and will support our immigration system to protect our borders. The passport will contain new design and enhanced security features - we want the UK to continue as world leaders in passport security and design.

3. IPS issued two contracts earlier this year:

* the Application and Enrolment (A&E) contract to replace our current passport application processing system which is about to come to the end of its life; and

* the National Biometric Identity Service (NBIS) contract to provide a database to support the introduction of biometric passports and ID cards and replace existing biometric databases used by UKBA.

The contract announced today will last for ten years.

4. This Design and Production Contract forms part of the wider National Identity Service which by the latest estimates will cost 4.9bn over ten years to deliver. To find out more about the National Identity Service visit

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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2009-06-11 17:05:46 in Business Articles

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