Home Affairs Committee Press Notice

Session 2002-03, dated 19 November 2003


The Home Affairs Committee has agreed the following terms of reference for its inquiry into Identity Cards:

The Committee will inquire into all aspects of identity cards, including the practical aspects of the Government's proposals and of any future schemes, and will examine the Government's draft Bill. Among the questions they will consider are:

  • the practical issues involved in the ID database and biometric identifiers;

  • the security and integrity of the proposed system;

  • the operational use of ID cards in establishing identity, accessing public services, and tackling illegal migration, crime, and terrorism;

  • issues to be addressed in the longer-term, including compulsion; and

  • the estimated cost of the system.

The Committee is seeking written submissions of no more than 2,000 words from interested parties.  Organisations and individuals interested in making written submissions are invited to do so by 5 January 2004.  Submissions should give the name and postal address of the person sending the memorandum and should state whether it has been prepared specifically for the Committee.  If the memorandum is from an organisation rather than an individual, it should briefly explain the nature and membership of the organisation.  The Committee may publish some of the submissions it receives.

The Committee intends to have an initial evidence session with Home Office officials to explore the Government's proposals. This is planned for mid-December 2003. Suggestions for questions for this session only should be sent by 5 December 2003.

Submissions should be sent to the Clerk of the Committee at the address below.  If possible, please supply an electronic version in MS Word or Rich Text format, either by e-mail to homeaffcom@parliament.uk or on a disk. Further guidance on the submission of evidence can be found at http://www.parliament.uk/commons/selcom/witguide.htm.