Home Affairs Committee Press Notice

Session 2003-04, dated 27 October 2004




Government response to ID Card Report

COMMITTEE SECURES RE-THINK FROM HOME OFFICE ON I.D. CARD SCHEME

Home Affairs Select Committee Chairman Rt Hon John Denham MP today welcomed the Government's response to the Committee's recent report on ID cards. Mr Denham described it as a very significant move to address the concerns raised by the Select Committee. In particular, he welcomed:

- the move towards a single free-standing ID card which would enable the selection of the most appropriate technology;

- the development of a simple on-line verification process;

- independent advice on biometrics from the chief scientific adviser of the Government;

- the rationalisation of current database proposals and the dropping of the Citizen Information Project;

- agreement to put the aims of the ID card scheme into primary legislation;

- agreement to give the Commissioner oversight of the whole scheme.

Mr Denham said:

"While there are many detailed issues still to be clarified, and further work needs to be done on costings the Government's response makes it much more likely that this essential scheme will succeed.

"Over the coming months Parliament will want to scrutinise carefully the proposed statutory aims of the scheme, the powers of the Commissioner, and the safeguards against misuse of the system.

If we can get these areas of the Bill right the ID card scheme can be placed on a sound legal footing."