back to article Accenture and BAE pull out of ID card project

The UK ID card project suffered another serious blow today with news that two potential suppliers have pulled out of the procurement process. Accenture and BAE Systems have both decided not to chase contracts for the controversial scheme. A short list of possible suppliers is due to be published in the next few months but …


This topic is closed for new posts.


  1. Michael

    So the non-compulsory ID card

    is non-compulsory unless you want to save your money or get some higher education?

  2. Nomen Publicus
    Dead Vulture

    high tech library card project flounders?

    Wow! A couple of the usual suspects walk away from possible £billion contracts? The only way they would do this is that the high tech library card project, as is suggested by the blog, is still so undefined that they would be exposed to huge penalties no matter what was delivered in the end.

    Who would have believed it.

  3. Mike Crawshaw

    If Only...

    The UK population had the option to "pull out of the ID card project"....!!!!

    "Anyone wanting to open a bank account, apply for student funding or buy alcohol or cigarettes will be forced to buy an ID card."

    But they're not compulsary, right?

    "In order to serve you better, please bend over and drop your trousers, or we'll be forced to beat you with iron bars."

  4. Pete

    they'll be back

    Just wait until the govt starts waving money - they'll all be buzzing around like flies over a **** Until there's any prospect of that, there's no project, so no reason to be involved.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    learning lessons fast

    The government don't know what they want, ill defined flaky or too wide a scope is why every single one of these projects loose money in the end.

    Acn pulled out of the NHS for exactly the same reasons, and it appears have learnt their lesson; the down side is that it leaves the rest of those muppets less competition and a clear path to uncle fuck up.

    Let's hope IBM get some backing as I don't fancy a scheme implemented by FJS, CSC, or the Frenchies.

    Any how, back to work now to waste some more time on an ill-conceived and poorly managed government it contract...

  6. Rosco

    Game over

    The terrorists will be simply incapable of operating now. Either they will be unable to sign-up for student funding or open a new bank account (unthinkable to a terrorist) or they will have to get an ID card. And once they have the ID card, the card will report any suspicious behaviour (carrying 101ml of liquid around for example) to the police who will immediately arrest them and hold them without charge for 37 years.

    Rejoice! Rejoice! We have won the war on terror!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Non compulsory ID cards, windows without bugs and unicorns

    What a complete and utter waste of money. This was always going to be forced down people's throats and the (possibly unconfirmed but hardly suprising) points noted in this article just confirm how they'll start it. First poor students then next it'll be that any workers can't receive payslips, drivers can't buy petrol etc. without the cards.

    This was a bad idea from the start and none of the current jokers within any political [circus] party within the UK could manage to implement such a scheme without it becomming another ballsed-up, over-run-into-millions-of-pounds-of-debt I.T. project we're so used to hearing of. Need I remind anyone of all the recent other data protection fiascos/give-aways the goverment has performed recently?? This was always a pathetic, disqusting project and a complete waste of taxpayers money.

  8. Mat



  9. John Munyard

    Greedy rats desert the sinking ship

    Jeez, if Accenture and BAE are running away from this project this early in the lifecycle then things must be really, really bad inside there. This is the equivalent of pikeys refusing to tarmac your drive.

    Will any other contractor be daft enough to step into the breach? How much with the Government have to increase the TCV by to tempt someone back in?

    This will be fascinating to watch...

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stake Money

    That IBM dont get involved, they stayed well away from the NHS debacle, I dont even think they put in a proposal.

    The government will want some kind of Fixed Price contract, and no sane vendor will want to touch it. Accenture got burned in the NHS one, and probably won't fancy it again. It cost them a lot of money and credibility in the market place

  11. Anonymous Coward

    No Comment...

    I've got direct experience with 3 of the remaining bidders' software teams. God help us...

  12. Ben
    Dead Vulture

    Hurry up with growing organs in a lab

    Today if I loose my wallet no problem, get new cards ordered.

    2012 if I loose my biometric ID card, I'll have to order new eyeballs/retinas and fingerprints to prevent identity theft. That sukz!

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Accenture are pussies, they chickened out of the NHS fiasco as well. Whatever happened to the Corinthian spirit? Do or Die? We didn't build an empire by just walking away from piles of wonga, you know.

  14. Spleen

    How's the temperature in hell

    Accenture, if I remember correctly, were given something like £19m to set up the system for paying EU subsidies to farmers. They completely cocked it up, causing untold misery for hundreds of farmers, and their reward was they got paid another £19m or so to fix the mess THEY CREATED.

    They must really not have their act together if they're unable to grab a slice of this particular pie.

    Remember that Accenture is in fact Arthur Andersen, them that were largely responsible for the American accounting scandals a few years back. Accenture managed to change their name and sneak out of the building before it collapsed. Really, every single story on Accenture should have a line saying "Accenture is the consulting arm of Arthur Andersen, the auditors to Enron."

  15. David Cornes

    Two issues

    With regards to the big services companies still bidding, don't forget that they'll still get to sitkc their snouts in a big fat trough, and gorge themselves stupid, whatever the ultimate fate of ID cards is. So don't expect too many of them to give up chasing those contracts.

    As regards ID cards themselves, I'm now convinced they'll not happen, at least not in any obvious fashion, simply because this government is now fighting an ongoing war to keep level-pegging, let alone ahead, of the conservatives in the polls.

    There's a general election due in a year or two, and they simply CANNOT afford to pursue anything that might cost them votes: and ID cards most definitely WILL.

  16. Evil Consultant

    Good Move

    70% of big IT projects are considered failures; however when you move into goverment space that percentage kicks up significantly and even though the contracts are potentially billion-dollar moneymakers the risk is just too high. BAE and ACN have made the right decision, particularly in light of the fact that the ID card has conflicting and unachievable aims.

    On another note. Spleen, Accenture were not part of Arthur Andersen. They were Andersen Consulting, which split from AA in the dim and distant days of 1989. As part of the international arbitration started by CEO Shaheen they were forced to change their name well before the Enron debacle. Get your facts right.

  17. The Mole

    Targeting teenagers

    I like their strategy. They are going to give them to the people who either can't, or haven't yet had the opportunity to vote on the matter.

    How will the bank account bit work? A child can have a bank account so what are the banks going to do, close all accounts when you turn 13? 17? or are the rules just going to be you aren't allowed an over draft unless you have a (non-compulsorary) id card?

  18. Steve Wehrle
    Thumb Down

    Cost to Shops ?

    So each and every establishment which sells alcohol and tobacco will be forced to install ID card readers which will have to be used to determine if the person buying the goods has the same biometric characteristics as the person on the ID card?

    1) who's paying for all these thousands of machines, which will all have to be put in place when the first card is issued?

    2) who's providing the training for all the thousands of shop staff (including part-time students)?

    3) how are cigarette vending machines going to cope?

  19. Risky


    Don't assume that the companies that win the contract will actually come out ahead. I was involved is a $1bn Banking project that IBM won, charged us ever increasing amounts and still lost money on.

  20. N Silver badge

    No to ID

    Ive not known a Government IT Procurement project thats actually worked or delivered what it says on the tin,

    lets hope just hope this nightmare never happens.

  21. James Pickett
    Paris Hilton

    Bring in the experts

    Surely this is a job for Crapita? I suppose EDS will do, at a pinch, though...

    (Paris, because even she would do a better job.)

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Accenture not the makers of all evil

    Spleen - Accenture were Anderson Consulting which was a seperate legal entity from Anderson the accounting firm long before the name change. Furthermore, the at the time, each country operation of Anderson Consulting was a stand alone unit and it was not until just before the name change that they formed one global organisation.

    I'm no lover of Accenture but don't tar them with Enron - there's plenty of stuff they did do which you can have a go at them over. While you're at it though, why not take a look at the Government which insisted on moving the majority of Accenture consultants to Leeds for the NHS project - thus costing the taxpayer millions. The consultants didn't want to leave friends and family in London so they had to be persuaded with promotions, allowances and all manner of cajoling.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The tories have already said theyd simply scrap the id card anyway. Seems like a decent enough reason to vote for them instead of their clones.

  24. Phil

    Fujitsu Services ...

    ... have learned surprisingly little, then, about how badly they can fcuk up public sector projects.

  25. Mark


    We didn't get where we are today by doing a half-arsed job, pocketing the profits and legging it before the customer noticed.

    Once we had craftsmen. Now we've got marketing.

  26. Shabble

    Probably not in Scotland

    Just a little reminder that this probably won't be happening in Scotland - the incumbent SNP are using ID Cards as a stick to beat the Westminster Parliament with (along with student loans and police pay).

    I can see the policy line now... 'A vote for Scottish independence is a vote for freedom.'


  27. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Return of the King!

    ....EDS will be win, once the government punished tehm by taking all their contracts from tehm and then relalised, CSC,FJS and Frenchies were no better than the Texan Cowboys it will be their turn again.....

    then i can go back rengotiate my old job back with better terms and conditions, not to mention extra holiday allowances, shoudl see me nicely through to the first wave of voluntary reducnies and a good payout 3/4 of the way though the contract!

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And the next story is.....

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re:Stake Money

    IBM did bid for the NHS contracts and in fact were in the last two for consideration, but couldn't get a proof of concept working where Sun did (and probably now wish they didn't).

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wot, no Crapita?

    Shouldn't Crapita be on the list. Seems they'd be the ideal company to totally screw this up for the Government, based on their track record to date.

  31. jonathan keith Silver badge


    Can't we get these people sectioned? They're obviously deranged and a threat to the public.

  32. Someone


    I can understand why Accenture needed to withdraw. Apparently, when they lose data, it’s ‘unfathomable’.

    This isn’t in keeping with the British way of losing personal information, where it should always be possible to follow it with a Simpsonesque ‘d’oh!’ of resigned inevitability.

  33. James Anderson Silver badge

    Bank passbook model.

    Holding data in an id card is exactly the same pattern as the old savings bank/post office passbook systems where you carried a book with your transactions and balance scribbled inside.

    You dont see many of those around anymore!

    Id cards holding anything other than a reference number will suffer all the same problems.

    Synchronisation -- you have an eye injury how do you update the card?

    Tampering -- from the simplest microfine adjustment with a hammer (sorry gov it was working yesterday - can I go through anyway) to all the documented hacks and attacks that RFIDs are prone too, plus whatever attacks are discovered in the next 20 years.

    Loss -- replacing a lost card is going to be a long tedious process -- and -- probably the best way to get yourself a genuine fake id.

    Added to this you have the problem of issueing 60,000,000 of the f***rs in the space of a few years. This may of course be done by highly paid, well trained specialists who will diligently double check every ones documents to ensure they do not issue any false cards, on the other hand, it may be done by civil servents.

    This government has been in power too long -- its time to give the monster raving looney party a chance.

  34. Anonymous Coward

    @the two Mikes re: losing your rights.

    Absolutely so, and not just that, but your right to travel abroad will be denied you because you won't be allowed to get a passport without giving up your data for the national identity register.

    At which point no2id and other campaign groups will be launching a bunch of human rights cases in the courts, and it's hard to see how it wouldn't be an open and shut case :-)

    Join no2id and/or take the pledge now!

  35. Simon Greenwood

    Re: Cost to shops

    The theoretical answers are as follows:

    1) A card reader isn't necessary. The government envisions believes that something like 90% of card presentations will be purely visual, which won't create a lucrative counterfeiting industry at all.

    2) Training? Training? What gives you the idea that there will be training? That a spotty 17 year old has been given the legal right to see your ID card when you buy a bottle of whisky at Somerfield is sufficient. Surely?

    3) Cigarette vending machines are in the process of being banned at the moment and pubs will be back to selling fags over the counter, accompanied by a ten page questionnaire about why you should be allowed to buy them and a quick flash of a fake ID card. So that's all right then.

  36. Richard Porter

    Cost to Shops?

    Steve has hit the nail on the head. The cards themselves are completely pointless. If shops, banks and other establishments have the facilities to obtain a person's biometrics then surely they can be checked against the government's super on-line mega-database rather than against a silly bit of plastic that can be forged?

  37. Anonymous Coward

    2012 is shaping up to be a vintage year

    In 2012 we can expect: a partially implemented ID card system that doesn't work; transport and other chaos because of the Olympics not being ready on time; and televison stopping working as the digital switchover falls on its arse.

    Smiley face icon -- musn't grumble, eh?

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Identity card scheme

    Imagine this...........

    The run up to the next election.

    Knock. Knock. "I'm your local MP & I want you to vote for me in the forthcoming election."

    "Prove it. Show me your ID card."

    "I haven't got one - I'm your MP"

    "F#ck off then"

  39. Anonymous Coward


    Was it not IBM that was involved with the central register in Germany in the 1930's? Who says history teaches us nothing....

  40. Andrew Barratt

    Typical government blunders

    This is just typical

    Government contracts go like this :-

    UK.Gov: Weve got no idea what we want but its a bit like this.

    Vendors: Ok, well for us to deliver that it will be £10bn.

    Uk.Gov: we need it to cost £5bn, and erm we actually want it to do this now.

    Vendors:mmmm ok, but thats really gonna cost £7bn but we will see what we can do.

    Uk.Gov: great. Now can we do this with it too, we've heard on the radio its really neat. someone has said make sure it is secure too.

    Sensible vendors: Do you know what, keep your money we are going to let you fuck this up on your own.

    Moneygrabbing vendors: tell you what lets offer you a retainer, £5bn a year for 10 years and another £1bn for project management.

    Uk.Gov: We've got project management we can save £1bn there....

    Moneygrabbing vendors: ok, sign here for the £5.5bn a year for 20 years. woohoo, only .5bn over budget......

    UK.taxpayer: sigh.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    mmmmm Why can MS just charge say £100 for initlal purchase and say £25 per year after that, same as AV and just about everybody else does. That way they could build on the strengths and fix the weaknesses of the OS.

    Why do we have to have a full new OS, and all the attentand heartache with upgrading and bugs every few years?

    Oh and why the heck were AMD and Intel allowed to produce 64 bit CPU way before there was an operating system ready for them. And why the heck did AMD and Intel not kick the likes of MS in the balls and tell them to get it sorted before releasing the x64s?

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Anonymous Coward Thursday 24th January 2008 14:53 GMT

    slide 5.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    How to target the yoof?

    How do we get teens to take this up when they couldn't care less so when they're whiny old middle agers they're already on file? Think 21 -- harass the yoof so it's easier to just get the damn thing.

    You don't even have to be that young to be asked for photo ID under Think 21, but if you don't have a driver's licence what do you use? You don't take your passport out drinking unless you know Paris is going to be there and you're really hopeful that she'll take you on a whirlwind trip of the real one.

    And you don't normally take your passport with you to buy spoons or a quick disposable razor.

    And once it's done, you can't really start complaining about the BIG PROJEKT now they've already got your data. Cunning plan.

  44. This post has been deleted by its author

  45. Karim Bourouba


    dont assume that just because the SNP doesnt want ID cards, that it wont happen.

    While the exec may put a stop to it out of a desire to appear independant - they will probably create a scheme like this in future. If for nothing else to prevent things like NHS tourism.

  46. Mike Richards

    Church of Mormon

    Can't we give the ID card project to the Mormons?

    They're obsessed with collecting data about everyone who's ever lived so that we can all be baptised into the church of latterday wacky - and they're somewhat less disturbing than Ross Perot's EDS.

  47. Dave

    @AC - Why?

    I think you'll find there was an OS available to run on the 64-bit CPUs very early on, wasn't it called Linux or something like that?


  48. Turbojerry


    IBM has provable links with the holocaust, check out-

    IBM 'dealt directly with Holocaust organisers',3604,675727,00.html

    IBM and the holocaust

    the book can be found on various BT sites too.

    Ihre IBM Papieren, bitte!

    <- Big Blue logo combined with swastika

  49. Jeff Deacon

    @ Shabble

    Alas, Scotland beat the rest of us to it. The Scottish national entitlement card for pensioners, to get their bus travel etc, is in fact a much more broad based affair, and is though by some to be a prototype National ID Card.

  50. Dave Bell

    Wht people had identity cards in Europe

    ...Started with the mass conscript arrmies of the 19th century, and the detailed mobilisation plans. The needed toi know where everyone was, so that they could put millions of young men on the railway trains to their deaths.

    In the Nazi era, the same system of routinely recording changes of address gives us a lot of evidence for the Holocaust.

    So why do they really want ID cards? What war are they planning to fight?


This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020