Failed ID card scheme continues to leak money

Plenty has already been spent on the failed ID scheme, but it seems the money pit is almost bottomless.

The government has said it’s forking out around £2.253 million to compensate suppliers for the cancellation of contracts. Damian Green admitted the spend in a letter to Labour MP Meg Hillier.

Thales got the best deal for sitting around and doing nothing with £2.002 million of government cash doles out in compensation. Green writes: “In addition IPS is paying Thales to decommission ID card systems and securely to destroy the personal data held in these systems”. However, he said decommission costs would not go above the £400,000 mark.

3M and Cable and Wireless received £183,000 and £68,000 respectively in compensation.

Green adds that there will be a cost for decommissioning ID card systems and securely destroying the personal data. He reckons the estimated total sits at about £375,000.

This of course isn’t the first time that the ID Card scheme costs have surfaced. Back in January Mr Green admitted that it would take around £400k to destroy the personal data that’s on the now-scrapped National Identity Register.

He said the destruction of the register would be carried out by a CESG accredited and approved supplier in compliance with the HMS IA Standard No. 5-Secure Sanitisation of Protectively Marked Sensitive Information. The estimated costs to dismantle the systems and securely destroy the personal data held totted up to £400,000.

At the time he said: “The destruction of the NIR data will involve the physical equipment holding that data being both degaussed and physically shredded.

“It is estimated that cancelling ID cards and the NIR will realise net savings of £86 million over the next four years. The Identity and Passport Service (IPS) will incur some one-off expenditure and asset write-offs during 2010-11, including the secure destruction of the NIR. The net costs in 2010-11 will be near to £5 million.”
In December he was also forced to admit that there was £6.5 million worth of pre-purchased IT hardware for the failed scheme that was sitting in boxes – and would probably never see the light of day.

The government expects to save £134 million through cancelling fingerprint biometric passports, affecting three contracts, which the government won’t have to pay compensation for.