The Identity and Passport Service has cut down its shortlist for the biggest contract within the National Identity Scheme.
It has dropped IBM from the competition for the application and enrolment procurement, leaving CSC and Fujitsu in contention. In September, IPS said that all three firms were on the shortlist for the deal, which home secretary Jacqui Smith recently estimated would be worth £350m-450m.
However, IBM is on the shortlist for the smaller card design and production contract, along with Fujitsu and Thales, worth £250m-350m according to Smith. This deal looks the most vulnerable in the event of the identity card's cancellation, which both the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties have pledged to do if they win power.
IPS announced the two new shortlists on 5 December 2008. Following the submission of detailed tenders, the service said it expects to award all contracts during 2009.
Smith recently said she expected the application and enrolment and national biometric service contracts to be awarded during the second quarter of 2009.
IPS has already shortlisted IBM and Thales for the other main contract, the national biometric service, estimated by Smith to be worth £200m-250m.
Earlier this year, Thales won the £18m contract to provide the interim version of the scheme, and as part of the same procurement exercise EDS, Fujitsu and IBM were shortlisted for the UK Border Agency casework system.
The latter deal, which is expected to be substantially smaller than the big three contract, is the only one for which EDS remains in the running, and is scheduled for award by the end of this year. The other four firms chosen in May to take part in detailed discussions have all been shortlisted for at least one of the three major contracts.
This article was originally published at Kablenet.
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