Another high-profile bidder has taken the decision to withdraw from the UK’s national ID card scheme. Steria has announced in a statement that it is no longer a Prime Bidder in the ID cards procurement, although the company has expressed an interest in participating as a subcontractor instead. The news follows the withdrawal in January of Accenture and BAE Systems.
A spokesman for the Identity and Passport Service told SDW: “We are relaxed about this. Competitive dialogue for the National Identity Scheme framework procurement is continuing apace, and to schedule as set out in on the timeline set out in the framework prospectus in August. We have had a very healthy level of interest from high-calibre suppliers, and this is precisely why we have run the competitive dialogue over the last few months, to make sure we have the right suppliers in the right roles. We are now set to issue invitations to tender next month and expect to award the framework contract in May to four or five prime suppliers. Those suppliers can choose to supplement their capabilities with subcontractors, and there could also be other contracts procured outside the framework which other firms would also be able to bid for."
The potential prime suppliers remaining from the original eight are: CSC; EDS; Fujitsu; IBM; and Thales.
IPS will issue formal invite to tender next month and then the framework contract to four or five prime suppliers in May. Once the framework is in place IPS says it will immediately proceed with the first two procurements, which are:
• The replacement of core Application and Enrolment processes for passports and the provision of desktop infrastructure for IPS; and
• The replacement and upgrading of the existing systems for fingerprint matching and storage in connection with immigration and visa requirements and transition to the replacement service.