ID cards

The latest report levels criticism at the government over the secrecy of the ID planning process, conflicting statements made by the Home Office and a disregard for Parliament's right to consider important costs and facts related to the scheme.###


The report observes: ‘Dozens of questions about the scheme's architecture, goals, feasibility, stakeholder engagement and outcomes remain unanswered. These questions are outlined in this report. The security of the scheme remains unstable, as are the technical arrangements for the proposal. The performance of biometric technology is increasingly questionable. We continue to contest the legality of the scheme. The financial arrangements for the proposals are almost entirely secret, raising important questions of constitutional significance.’

For these reasons, the LSE team has declined to publish further costings for the scheme. In his introduction to the report LSE's Director, Sir Howard Davies observed: ‘As this second report shows, the Government have not been very forthcoming in providing details of their proposals. The LSE team stands by the cost estimates outlined in its first report, but changes to the policy made by the Home Office make it difficult now to produce a definitive assessment of the total cost. Other government departments, if they wish to adopt the ID scheme, may opt in at a later date. Any estimates made of the cost of the current proposals may therefore significantly underestimate the total cost of the scheme in the longer term.’