ID cards will not be fully tested

The Government has admitted that the new ID card scheme will not be fully tested before it is rolled out. The statement was made in response to a report by the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee.

Nov 2, 2006
By David Howell

The Government has admitted that the new ID card scheme will not be fully tested before it is rolled out. The statement was made in response to a report by the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee.

The committee stated in its report, Identity Card Technologies: Scientific Advice, Risk and Evidence, that more testing should be carried out even if this meant delaying the introduction of the scheme. But the Government responded by stating: “Trial results need to be used in a pragmatic way and should not distract from the need to deliver a workable solution in a timely and cost-effective manner. It would not be realistic to rigorously test everything before the scheme ‘goes live’ to the point where the Government can be sure that no further changes need to be made to the design of the scheme. Some parts of the solution will not be tested but will use ‘off-the-shelf’ technology that has been adequately tested elsewhere.”

The testing phase of the project was also mentioned in the report that looked at the budget for the new ID system. The Government responded to the budgeting question by stating: “Trialling has to be managed within the usual budgetary disciplines and so while the Government can assure the committee that trials will be well-funded it will also fulfil its obligation to achieve value for money. The committee`s recommendation suggests that the procurement phase should be extended to include all appropriate trials. The Government believes that better, more reliable results and better value for money can be achieved by rolling out the scheme incrementally and collecting data from these early stages with a view to using it to modify the scheme`s design as it grows.”

The Science and Technology Committee has also recommended that an assurance group should be set up to monitor the entire project. The Government welcomed this move but made this cautious statement, that it was “difficult to put a firm timescale on the establishment of the group”. It did, however, acknowledge that it was “fully aware that, in order to be useful, the group would have to be established early enough to influence technical policy and architectural decisions during procurement.”

Related News

Copyright © 2024 Police Professional