The government has already spent £46.4m on the controversial ID cards scheme, a home office minister has revealed.
Home office minister Joan Ryan confirmed that £46.4m had been spent on the ID card programme between April 2003 and the end of May this year. The disclosure came in response to a parliamentary question from Liberal Democrat MP Lembit Opik.
A Home Office spokesperson said, “This expenditure has been made from Home Office funds voted by Parliament. It includes pay and associated costs for civil servants and secondees, consultancy fees and legal advice expenses, as well as a contribution to the cost of the UK Passport Service biometric enrolment trial.”
In July, the tendering process for the £5.8bn ID card programme was put on hold, at least until the end of the year, pending a review that will form part of a “root and branch” examination of the Home Office’s priorities and programmes.
Earlier this month, the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee warned that it was “concerned” about the way the government is planning the proposed implementation of ID cards.
In the report of its inquiry into the ID cards programme, the committee urged the Home Office to employ a systems architect and establish an IT assurance committee to advise on IT, particularly the scheme specifications, and to review proposed solutions.
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