The UK Passport Service has still not completed online database checks to block fake IDs using the birth certificates of dead infants, an official report has revealed.
A United Kingdom Passport Service (UKPS) Fraud Action Programme Update Report listed the project "Checking Infant Birth/Death Records" as Item 1 in a summary of the work under way.
The aim of the exercise is to carry out retrospective data checks to identify fraudulent applications over many years. The details will then be passed to the police for investigation.
Northern Ireland is not expected to supply data until March and, although Scotland already holds records electronically, a timetable for matching and delivery of data has still to be agreed, with completion not expected until March.
The report confirmed the UKPS expected to introduce a new passport in 2005 with biometric identification, primarily face recognition, along with iris and/or fingerprint data.
A Home Office spokesperson blamed the delay on the difficulty of preventing abuse of the statutory right of access to public birth, marriage and death records.
The Home Office said the technology matching birth and death records and linking with passport applications had only become available "in recent years".
National Statistics Online published a major report from the Cabinet Office on identity fraud in July 2002.