Government starts search for ID card commissioner

The government has begun the hunt for an independent commissioner to oversee the national identity card scheme.

Advertising the post in the Sunday...

The government has begun the hunt for an independent commissioner to oversee the national identity card scheme.

Advertising the post in the Sunday Times, the Home Office said the National Identity Scheme Commissioner will protect the interests of the public.

The successful candidate will take up their post around the middle of this year. The job attracts a six-figure salary and will be for an initial term of three years.

The appointment is already late, as a commissioner was expected to be in the job before the first ID cards were issued.

The government started issuing ID cards to foreign nationals in November. By the end of the year, they will be issued to people working in security sensitive roles such as those at airports.

Opponents of the £4.7bn scheme say the ID cards will infringe civil rights, and will not help prevent terrorists or illegal immigration as the government claims.

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith told the Daily Express, "I understand that people want strong oversight of the National Identity Scheme and I agree that the security or integrity of the scheme should never be taken for granted.

"From day one the commissioner will look after the public's interests by scrutinising the way the scheme is implemented and managed, how information is stored and how identity cards are used by both public and private sectors."

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