Select Committee on Home Affairs Fourth Report


279. We believe that an identity card scheme could make a significant contribution to achieving the aims set out for it by the Government, particularly tackling crime and terrorism. In principle, an identity card scheme could also play a useful role in improving the co-ordination of and the citizen's access to public services, although the Government has not yet put forward clear proposals to do so. We believe that the Government has made a convincing case for proceeding with the introduction of identity cards.

280. However, the introduction of identity cards carries clear risks, both for individuals and for the successful implementation of the scheme. We are concerned by the lack of clarity and definition on key elements of the scheme and its future operation and by the lack of openness in the procurement process. The lack of clarity and openness increases the risks of the project substantially. This is not justified and must be addressed if the scheme is to enjoy public confidence and to work and achieve its aims in practice.

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