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However, holding an identity card should be a personal choice for British citizens—just as it is now to obtain a passport. Accordingly, I want the introduction of identity cards for all British citizens to be voluntary and I have therefore decided that identity cards issued to airside workers, planned initially at Manchester and London City airports later this year, should also be voluntary. I continue to believe that identity cards will help deliver enhanced security in the airside pass-issuing process at airports by making it easier and more certain to verify an individual’s identity. In consultation with the airport operators, we will be encouraging anyone applying for an airside pass to obtain an identity card. There will be significant benefits from a large proportion of airside pass holders having their identity verified and being
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issued with identity cards. We have listened to what the unions, airlines and others in the aviation sector have had to say about our plans and as a result we will now seek to achieve these results by inviting applications to be made on a voluntary basis.

The Government will, therefore, be withdrawing the Identity Cards Act 2006 (Designation) Order 2009 which was laid before Parliament on 6 May 2009. This would have made it a requirement for anyone applying for a criminal conviction certificate, as part of the process for obtaining an airside pass to access the restricted area at a specified airport, also to obtain an identity card.

The Government believe that effective identity assurance is the foundation stone of a good personnel security regime in airports and elsewhere and that is why we will be offering identity cards to those working airside in our airports from later this year.

In December 2007, Stephen Boys Smith was commissioned by the Transport Secretary to conduct an independent external review of personnel security arrangements in the UK transport industry. His key conclusion was that effective personnel security starts with identity and that identity cards would play a useful addition to identity assurance at airports and elsewhere in the transport industry. We continue to believe that this is correct and that identity cards will provide and help with enhanced security but we believe that compulsion would be counter-productive given the need to ensure the right environment for their introduction.

We believe the evaluation of identity cards for airside workers will demonstrate the benefits that identity cards can bring to the pre-employment and airside pass issuing processes at Manchester and London airports and that these benefits will encourage airside workers to apply for an identity card. We will continue to work with the aviation industry to agree the ongoing roll out of personal identity cards to airside workers, so these process improvements can also benefit others.

For foreign nationals (from outside the European Economic Area), compulsory identity cards will play an increasingly important part in the delivery of an effective immigration policy and for proving identity and entitlement to work. Therefore I have asked the UK Border Agency to look at how it can speed up the rollout of identity cards for Foreign Nationals including to foreign national airside workers.

A further five Statutory Instruments under the Identity Cards Act 2006 have also been laid before Parliament. These will now be brought before the House for approval. These will be required to allow for the start of the issue of identity cards on a voluntary basis in the autumn.

I am determined to ensure that there is proper oversight of the way the National Identity Service is introduced in order to build public trust. We will shortly be announcing the appointment of the independent Identity Commissioner. I will also be introducing a Public Panel, made up from people from different regions, to ensure that the views of the public are properly reflected and to help us develop an identity rights charter. All of this work will fit within our strategy for safeguarding identity across Government.


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Northern Ireland

Youth Justice Agency of Northern Ireland (Corporate Plan and Business Plan)

The Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office (Paul Goggins): I have placed copies of the “Youth Justice Agency’s Corporate Plan for 2009-11” and “Business Plan for 2009-10” in the Libraries of both Houses.

The Business Plan contains 14 key performance targets I have set for the agency for 2009-10. These are:

Transport

Olympic Route Network Designation Order 2009

The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Mr. Sadiq Khan): The “Olympic Route Network Designation Order 2009” has today been laid before Parliament. The Order comes into force on 22 July 2009.

The Order lists the roads that are to form the Olympic Route Network (ORN)—a network of roads between venues and accommodation to be used during the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (“the Games”) by vehicles carrying the athletes, officials and media—the Games Family—who are at the heart of the games.

London committed in its bid and in the host city contract for the games to have an ORN. This was because the lessons and experience of previous host
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cities is that this is the most effective way to provide the safe, secure and reliable transport for athletes, officials and media between venues and accommodation that is critical to the games’ success.

The Government’s objectives for the ORN are to meet the Games Family’s needs while at the same time minimising the impact on residents, businesses and visitors to ensure London and the rest of the UK are kept moving.

The laying of this Order follows consideration of the responses received to the Department for Transport’s consultation between December 2008 and March 2009 on the roads to be included in the ORN. A full report on the consultation responses and the Government's response will be available on the Department for Transport’s website at: www.dft.gov.uk and in the Libraries of both Houses. A number of changes have been made to the roads in the ORN in the light of those responses. The Government’s response also sets out the Olympic Delivery Authority’s plans, starting this summer, to engage and consult with residents, businesses and other stakeholders
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on the design, implementation and operation of the traffic management measures to be applied on the ORN roads during the games.

Work and Pensions

Departmental Report

The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Yvette Cooper): I am today able to announce the publication of the Department for Work and Pensions departmental report.

The report is the Department’s first annual report under CSR2007 and provides details of the Department’s performance in 2008-09 within the context of the economic downturn.

The report will be available on the Department’s website today and copies are available in the Vote Office.


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