The Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) is looking for a supplier of portable readers capable of reading identity cards, passports, bank and credit cards, as well as fingerprints and facial and/or iris recognition.
The Metropolitan Police issued the tender in the Official Journal of the European Union yesterday. The three-year contract is worth between £800,000 and £3m. Up to five suppliers are expected to tender for the framework agreement.
The mobile identification unit (MIU) must be capable of capturing and displaying the information held on microchips and machine readable zones (MRZ) in passports, bank cards, ID cards, credit cards and other identification documents.
It must also be able to capture fingerprint images to industry standards, it said. Further biometric capabilities including facial recognition (2D and/or 3D), and/or iris recognition would be favourable.
The reader has to be able to transmit and receive data securely across a secure police gateway. Acpo said it might have to ask for an expansion of the reader's capabilities during the contract term.
The contract includes supporting existing mobile data terminals that use Mobitex communication technologies and the secure gateway. "This is required while a gradual transition to the new MIU technology is undertaken," it said.
All UK police forces, the Serious & Organised Crime Agency, UK Border Agency, HM Revenue & Customs, Home Office, Ministry of Defence and Foreign & Commonwealth Office and related agencies could call for readers.
Acpo wants the first readers by 31 March 2010.