In brief

Short takes on this week's news

Short takes on this week's news

Government puts IDcards proposal on hold

The government is to shelve plans to introduce a national biometric identity card until after the election, it emerged last week. The Identity Cards Bill, which was due to pass through the House of Lords, is not expected to be allocated debating time before 5 May, following opposition from the Conservative Party. The bill would have to start its passage through Parliament again if Labour wins a third term.

ID cards are a waste, says Schneier

British Energy picks Capgemini for support

Capgemini has won a five-year, £20m IT outsourcing contract with British Energy. Capgemini will support 6,500 users and more than 300 servers at British Energy power stations and offices throughout the UK. It will also provide application management services for several core systems at British Energy, including finance, human resources and document management. The contract involves the transfer of 28 British Energy staff and contractors to Capgemini.

Seven shortlisted for road charge contract

HM Customs and Excise has shortlisted seven suppliers to go through to the next stage of its procurement process for the forthcoming Lorry Road-User Charge (LRUC) scheme. The multimillion-pound LRUC contract will deliver the government's manifesto that all lorries using UK roads contribute towards the costs they impose. Serco, Siemens and T-Systems International have been selected to supply bids for the charging data services.

Microsoft talks collaboration

Microsoft is set to unveil its work on real-time collaboration (RTC) with new products aimed at the telecoms sector. RTC covers IP telephony, video conferencing and instant messaging. Microsoft said it will detail new tools in these areas.

Oyster card could be used to pay for papers

Transport for London is considering allowing users of its Oyster smartcard to pay for low-value goods such as newspapers and milk as well as train or bus journeys. TfL has been running a pilot in the London boroughs of Greenwich, Newham, Croydon and Lewisham where cards are being used in libraries and leisure services.

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