Saturday, 11 July 2009

Scorched earth policy? Or a very expensive legacy?

It used to be said that: no government can bind its successor. This is no longer true. By signing contracts for expensive schemes, many years into the future, Labour is ensuring that the costs of unpopular schemes will continue to haunt future governments.

ZDNet reports that IBM's contract to administer the National Biometric Identity Service (NBIS) database, which will hold identifying information such as facial images and fingerprints, is to run for seven years. The NBIS is used for biometric passports and for the National Identity Register (NIR), which will be used in issuing ID cards under the government scheme.

We are not sure whether the Conservatives will want the biometric passports that contain fingerprints. Mr Grayling says he is not sure about this. These type of passports, despite Labour's spin, are NOT mandatory under (ICAO) international aviation regulations. The ones we have at present containing a machine-readable chip are totally legal.

The Conservatives and Lib Dems have pledged to scrap the NIR and ID cards but it seems that Labour are determined to use a 'scorched earth' policy and make cancelling the scheme extremely expensive.

1 comment:

Andy Maggs said...

Not so sure about the post title!

The solution therefore must surely be that Government should be prevented by its own rules from ever signing contracts that have terms exceeding its own remaining term of office unless agreed by the majority of the political parties.