De La Rue handed lifeline on British ePassport contract


UK ministers have given British identity solutions firm De La Rue more time to challenge a passport decision that saw it lose the country's ePassport contract.

The UK government has granted a two-week extension to the bidding process to make the new British passports, a week after it all but handed this to Gemalto.

De La Rue had requested the longer "standstill period", which has been agreed by the Home Office.

It now means a decision will now be made on Tuesday, 17 April.

A spokesperson for De La Rue had said: "We can accept that we weren't the cheapest, even if our tender represented a significant discount on the current price.

"It has also been suggested that the winning bid was well below our cost price, which causes us to question how sustainable it is."

De La Rue had lost the £490m contract to French-Dutch Gemalto in March. The British firm had earlier said it was preparing to take the government to court over the proposed move.

De La Rue's bid was not the cheapest but it said it was "the highest quality and technically most secure".

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