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BAE Systems, Accenture say no to UK ID card project

BAE Systems and Accenture, two of the eight initial IT suppliers that were shortlisted to bid on the National Identity Scheme (NIS) framework procurement programme, have bailed out citing financial reasons.

This leaves Computer Sciences Corporation, EDS, Fujitsu, IBM, Steria, and Thales to battle out for the estimated £5.3 billion contract.

Although they did lose out, their shares didn't tank with BAE Systems and Accenture's shares actually going up since.

BAE chose to quit because "at this stage of the competition our assessment is that our bid would not contain every element necessary to deliver to the customer's requirement. We continue to monitor the programme with interest".

Consultancy Firm Accenture (opens in new tab) gave no reason specific for its withdrawal but said: "We remain committed to our work in UK government".

The ID Card project has been viewed with increasing suspicion by the media and the public

The UK government proved to be unreliable at handling its own citizens' information, following the loss of laptops, CDROMs, hard drives and packages containing details of millions.

Furthermore, the ID card plan has been criticised because of its ever bulging cost and concerns about the personal privacy.

Earlier last week, the Guardian (opens in new tab) reported that the full deployment of the ID Card for British citizens was going to be postponed till 2012, after the UK General election.

Désiré Athow
Contributor

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.