Blue Steel in the Hour of Chaos

The Register reports that the Conservatives are writing to companies involved in ‘ID card contracts’, asking them to reconsider, this is a good first move but something more forceful is needed before the next election:

NATIONAL IDENTITY CARD SCHEME

As you will be aware, the Conservative Party has stated publicly that it is our intention that we will commit to cancel the ID card project and related databases immediately on our being elected to government.

I am writing to you as one of the companies involved in contracting for the project. I wanted to make it clear to you that our intention commitment to cancel the project remains unchanged. I think it is important that the companies concerned bear this carefully in mind before committing to any long term contracts for the project, since it will not be our intention to proceed with be a manifesto commitment to cancel the work if we are elected.

In addition, I wanted to draw your attention to my concerns about the nature of the contracts that are in development.

In March, the Home Secretary announced that the cancellation of two contracts for the national identity scheme, one to upgrade passport application systems, and one for a biometric database, would incur costs of £40 million.

Whilst we do not intend to scrap We will also substantially overhaul the programme introducing biometric passports, therefore I wanted to make it clear that we will take an extremely sceptical view of actively contest any future contractual arrangements on ID cards that appear to have been put in place simply to tie the hands of a future Government.

In light of this, I urge you to consider very carefully your future involvement in the ID Card project.

Yours sincerely

Chris Grayling

Shadow Home Secretary

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