The Identity and Passport Service (IPS) is to embark on a marketing campaign to persuade businesses to check staff passports and national identity cards.
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It announced today that it has contracted advertising agency Proximity, part of the BBDO network, to develop below the line promotional campaigns for ID cards, passports and the General Register Office (GRO) for the next three to four years.
The contract supplements an earlier contract with Abbot Mead Vickers BBDO for above the line work to promote passport applications for first-time applicants and renewals, the Passport Validation Service (PVS), the National Identity Service, including validation services based upon data held on the national register; and genealogical services from GRO.
The Central Office of Information (COI) was unable to say how much the contracts were worth.
The latest estimated cost of the IPS for the next 10 years is £4.95bn. This includes the issue of both passports and identity cards for UK citizens. About 70% of it will go to implement secure biometric passports.
Since 2005, accredited government departments and law enforcement agencies, such as UK Border Agency, Security Industry Authority (SIA), and the DVLA, have had direct web access to the passport database.
PVS is the first business to business identity service offered by IPS, and is part of the IPS mission to be the "trusted and preferred provider of identity services", the COI said.