The Identity and Passport Service (IPS) has contracted IBM to build a database to support the Government's switch to biometric passports.
IBM will also provide a replacement for the UK Border Agency's (UKBA) Immigration and Asylum Fingerprint System (IAFS) which holds biometrics collected from visa applicants under a 7 year contract.
The projects will lay the foundations for the UK ID card programme.
James Hall, Chief Executive of the Identity and Passport Service, said, "This contract will provide a secure database for storing facial and fingerprint images for the next generation of biometric passports and will support the delivery of the National Identity card."
As Computer Weekly has previously reported, the UK passport and national identity card programmes have effectively been merged. Passport application fees could rise to as much as £200 to support the project.