FCO deal gets emergency passports travelling quicker

The Logica thing to do

The Logica thing to do

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office has beefed up emergency travel document (ETD) processing through a deal with Logica.

ETDs are issued to UK nationals when they lose or have passports stolen overseas.

Under the deal, Logica will introduce a workflow system to manage and simplify the issuing process in accordance with FCO policy and procedure. It will then be integrated with the full passport system in the UK.

The system will begin implementation in autumn/winter 2009 and will support 200 embassy and consulate locations throughout the world.

The software supplied will replace manual systems which Tony Bates, FCO programme manager of next generation passports, told silicon.com had reached the end of their shelf-life.

"The main importance of the [new deal] is around the security of service and the ability to get more timely and accurate information to the relevant authorities in the UK," he said.

The new system will even transmit the biometric ID that is captured in the one-sheet emergency document.

"When people discover they are without their passport, it's usually within a few hours of when they were expecting to travel, which is why it is critical we can transmit data about that traveller back to the UK within 24 hours," he added.

According to Bates, the seven countries that previously didn't accept ETDs for travel, including the US, now do as a result of the system revamp. Additionally, the ETDs that will be issued will be accepted for onward travel to countries outside the UK.