Thursday, June 23, 2005

PFI Y/N?

The Home Office has published a set of Corporate Plans and Funding Proposals for the next few years. You can find them here.

There seems to be a bit of confusion over the PFI and the way it relates to ID cards. If you examine the Excel document (Annex D: Home Office Projects) you will see that ID cards is listed as the last item. It lays out the objectives it is designed to meet, the part of the Home Office that is dealing with it (The Communities Group under Helen Edwards), and a brief description of the project. Then there is a column labelled "PFI Y/N", and the ID cards line is labelled "No". Unfortunately there appears to be no explanation of what this column actually means.

However within the core PDF document there is a section on the "UKPS Change Programme" which is the modifications to the UKPS to, among other things, "support the Identify Cards Scheme". This project is PFI funded.

It seems that the Government is trying to perform something of a con trick - given the opposition to PFI (and the many over-budget catastrophies) they are trying to claim that the ID cards scheme will not be PFI funded while at the same time ensuring that most of the actual work is done by PFI through other departments before the new ID card department comes into being.

That is unless someone, anyone, can come up with a better explanation of the "PFI Y/N" column.

CCW

3 comments:

Chameleon said...

Guys, have you seen this?
http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/politics/story.jsp?story=649780
It really makes my skin creep. As if we were ever in any doubt as to the lunacy of the scheme (I never was, which is why I enjoy reading your blog). This adds insult to injury: privacy (what little of it there is left) obliterated forever.

Chameleon said...

P.S: I found the link here (credit where credit is due):
http://milkylugs.blogspot.com/

Charlie Williams said...

Yes, I was alerted to the news story by Spy Blog yesterday. They had a round up of the Sunday paper's ID card items.

I note today in the Times the Home Office, in the person of Tony McNulty, are denying that any such negotiations ever took place - and then they say:

"However, he acknowledged that banks and other companies would be accredited as database users and able to refer to it for identification purposes."

And how does a company become accredited? Well, the bill doesn't say - the process is determined by the Home Secretary at some later stage, presumably including the fee.

And what information will this access provide? From a reading of the bill, every single piece of information from the application form.

For further reading:

Clause 14 (Subsections 2 and 6)
Schedule 1 (Paragraphs 1, 3 and 4)

Note that the elements in paragraph 2 of Schedule 1 are all explicitly referenced within Clause 4 Subsections 2 and 3 as information that may be released.

The only information from Schedule 1 that accredited organisations will not be able to get is: the audit trail (5, 6 and 7), security services infomation (7 part d), and various passwords to prove who you are in the event of biometrics not working.

CCW