The UK Parliamentary Science and Technology Committee has published its report on the Government’s treatment of scientific advice, risk and evidence associated with ID card technologies.
The report found areas where the Home Office’s treatment of scientific advice and evidence had followed good practice, such as through the use of advisory committees, the use of Office of Government Commerce (OGC) Gateway Reviews and the development of risk management strategies. The report also highlighted the benefits of the Home Office’s approach of implementing the scheme gradually rather than using a ‘big bang’ approach.
However, it wasn’t all good news for the Government. The report criticised it for the lack of transparency surrounding the incorporation of scientific advice, the procurement process and the ICT system. It said that potential suppliers were confused about the extent to which the scheme would be prescriptive and when technical specifications would be released. Consultations with the community were also criticised for being too limited and having unclear objectives. The committee also found that Home Office decisions about the ID card had been inconsistent and said it was sceptical about the validity of cost estimates produced so far because extensive trialling is still to take place.
The report can be downloaded and read in full from the UK parliament website.