£400,000 bill for wiping away biometric scheme...
Dismantling computer systems for the defunct ID cards project will cost up to £400,000 - about £30 per cardholder, the government has revealed.
Home Office minister Damian Green set out the cost of disposing of the ID cards' central database, the National Identity Register (NIR), and securely destroying ID card data, in a written answer to Parliament yesterday.
Scrapping the ID cards scheme will cost the Identity and Passport Service close to £5m in 2010-11, once the cost of additional expenditure and asset write-offs are taken into account.
An IT supplier with accreditation from CESG - the information assurance arm of British intelligence agency GCHQ - will wipe and physically shred the hard discs that stored the biographic and biometric details of cardholders, said Green.
The details of 13,200 British nationals were collected for ID cards before the coalition government began moves in May last year to scrap the scheme .
The ID cards scheme was scrapped with the passing of the Identity Documents Act in December 2010, and all ID cards will cease to be valid as identity and travel documents from midnight on Saturday.
The ID cards scheme, and the biometric work associated with it, has cost about £292m since the project began under the Labour government, according to the Home Office.
However, the government estimates that not carrying on with the ID cards scheme will save £86m over the next four years.