The Identity & Passport Service (IPS) has appointed two new consulting firms, Deloitte and Ernst & Young, to help PA Consulting, which up to now has enjoyed the lion's share of consulting business on the National Identity Scheme.
An IPS spokesman said, "IPS aims for greater coherence in delivery through the use of a limited number of firms, and to leverage their experience and corporate knowledge. Those we have appointed have demonstrated an excellent track record in programmes of comparable scale and complexity."
Deloitte will assist with strategy and architecture, programme management and financial modelling, the spokesman said. "Ernst and Young and PA Consulting will work on the various projects established to deliver individual scheme components," he said.
The IPS estimates that business and programme management costs will be 18% (£853m) of total costs of about £5bn
The spokesman said that IPS is recruiting civil servants to key positions and enhancing its client-side capability. It sought 50 new staff in IT, project mangement and commercial skills from late last year, and is now looking for another 50.
James Hall, chief executive of the Identity & Passport Service, said, "We are developing a single scheme-wide architecture, encompassing the business processes, technology, data and organisational design. Integral to this architecture will be the means of testing that it meets our requirements and supports monitoring and in-life service management."