back to article Blue passports, French service provider: Atos bags £21m UK Passport Office deal

The UK's Passport Office has awarded a £21m contract to Atos IT Services purportedly for business intelligence and infrastructure. The initial term of the deal is for two years, with the opportunity to extend for a further three years. The estimated value of the contract is for the maximum five years. The deal is part of Her …

  1. tiggity Silver badge

    backdoor identity card

    the line where the Passport Office would

    "make greater use of the data it holds, offering data verification services more widely to the public, private sector and other parts of government to combat identity fraud and protect citizens."

    Just sounds like more and more places will be wanting to have passport details (for BS security / verification details) - they can **** off.

    1. johnfbw

      Re: backdoor identity card

      Basically using the passport as part of a 2FA like other countries do with their ID cards

      1. teknopaul Silver badge

        Re: backdoor identity card

        don't mix identification and authorisation.

        1. Dave 15 Silver badge

          Re: backdoor identity card

          Why not, the government does

    2. Solviva

      Re: backdoor identity card

      Or some sort of official authentication system.

      You don't need to do much to get more secure than 2 utility bills, date of birth, postcode etc for 'authentication'.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: backdoor identity card

        Unless the only utility bills you get are "e-bills", ie an unauthenticated PDF anyone can edit and print out.

  2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    So, this contract is for doing what the previous one didn't ?

    The thing from 2017 that was supposed to revolutionize data treatment, remove paper, and be delivered in 2020, is where ?

    Ah, silly me, nowhere, of course.

    UK Gov IT at its best : promising the Moon, barely delivering a lorry.

    1. John Miles

      Re: barely delivering a lorry.

      if your definition of lorry includes a three wheeler driven by Inspector Clouseau

      1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: barely delivering a lorry.

        Inspector Clouseau?

        In the post Brexit revival of the franchise, it is "Inspector Boris"

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: barely delivering a lorry.

          Or, more likely, Del Boy.

    2. SW10
      Happy

      Re: So, this contract is for doing what the previous one didn't ?

      Crown Commercial Services Technology, which takes a 1 per cent fee on contracts it facilitates.

      If I were naïve, I'd say that looks like an incentive to have higher costs. Luckily, I realise that all Crown servants are actually 100% irreproachable.

    3. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: So, this contract is for doing what the previous one didn't ?

      Have you used much of the IT web stuff for UK gov? Some of it is amazingly elegant and effective.

    4. Dave 15 Silver badge

      Re: So, this contract is for doing what the previous one didn't ?

      Of course, they keep using foreign contractors whose charging rates are colossal but employ 2ngineers in bangalore for less a year than they charge our government a day, nothing happens but the project managers have 2 years for some excuse making and finding out how much bribe is required for civil servants to sign up again

  3. alain williams Silver badge

    "become completely digital"

    Digital might seem a no brainer for us techies, but the ONS says In January to February 2020, 4% of households in Great Britain did not have internet access.

    So are these to be excluded ?

    1. Ken G
      Trollface

      Re: "become completely digital"

      How do they book their travel?

      1. SkippyBing

        Re: "become completely digital"

        If they live in the small town I do via one of the two travel agents on the high street. I can only assume this glut of options for face to face trip advice is due to the high preponderance of retirees in the area and their mistrust of anything post 1990.

        On the plus side it did mean once they were all vaccinated the rest of us got done about a month before the equivalent age group in the rest of the country. All five of us.

    2. johnfbw

      Re: "become completely digital"

      It might be controversial - but eventually the only way to do a lot of stuff should be online.

      Almost everyone has access to a computer (often through a library).

      22% of the UK don't have access to a landline so it more exclusionary to offer a phone number to do things

      1. RegGuy1 Silver badge

        Re: "become completely digital"

        22% of the UK don't have access to a landline so it more exclusionary to offer a phone number to do things

        Yeah, but how many just have a mobile?

        1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

          Re: Yeah, but how many just have a mobile?

          Yeah but...

          I know several 'old crusties' who refuse to get a smartphone and rely on dumb phones.

          "I don't need no stinking internet access on my phone' etc etc

          'Those effing yanks will track everything I do'

          etc etc etc

          One of those 'crusties' is as I found out last week, a few months younger than myself.

          1. Gnomalarta
            Coat

            Re: Yeah, but how many just have a mobile?

            Where to start? Intolerance, ageism, lack of knowledge of the use of the insulting term 'crusty".

            Oh and the age of an ageist is neither here nor there.

          2. Dave 15 Silver badge

            Re: Yeah, but how many just have a mobile?

            Those crusties have more than a little point, have you checked the history of where you have been over the last 5 or more years you can get from Google or Apple.... All from tracking the tracker device you voluntarily carry for them

      2. tiggity Silver badge

        Re: "become completely digital"

        Mother in law is a UK pensioner

        Low income so no smart phone, no internet access.

        She struggles with technology anyway (she loves reading but refused offer of borrowing my e-Reader (loaded with lots of books) as she just could not get on with it).

        Even if she could afford smartphone or computer & net, she would not use them.

      3. Charlie Clark Silver badge
        Stop

        Re: "become completely digital"

        My mum only has a phone and a TV and I'm pleased because that is all she can manage. Making her do stuff online without help is basically inviting her to fail, or get hacked.

        I do lots of stuff online but there should always be other options.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: "become completely digital"

          Yes, there'll always be an option to go collect a paper form from the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard, which you then fill in and post to the relevant office.

    3. Oh Matron!

      Re: "become completely digital"

      You sound like my old program manager

      "oh there's this employee whose left leg is 1mm longer than his other, and he speaks welsh as a 2nd language and he has an aunt called Mathilde... We need to build the entire solution around him"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "become completely digital"

        Actually, the issue is having Welsh as a first language. And it’s a very real issue!

        1. tiggity Silver badge

          Re: "become completely digital"

          That's odd.

          Many years ago I worked on some software for a "Welsh govt related project".

          Requirement was for it to be multilingual

          As we had no native Welsh speakers on our team it was all via resx, client got their team to provide the appropriate Welsh values so we could create a cy-GB equivalent of the en-GB resx. Though not quite as simple as that & in some cases we altered a few things to fit things that did not correspond very well to anything in Welsh (based on what the translators told us).

          .. Though I imagine its hell as a Welsh speaker for non govt mandated websites

          1. Ochib

            Re: "become completely digital"

            Welsh signs gone wrong

            https://cyclingwales.co.uk/badlytranslated.html

        2. Dave 15 Silver badge

          Re: "become completely digital"

          I can imagine, a whole wide screen monitor just for the name... and that on multiple lines

    4. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: "become completely digital"

      4% without internet access. This really means 4% without internet access of their own, that they subscribe to themselves.

      Very close to 100% have internet access because they can make use of access from a friend or other provider, who can guide them rather than leaving them to blunder on by themselves.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: "become completely digital"

        It's more likely to mean 4% of households, not 4% of people. Otherwise that would be a much larger percentage. As an example which is probably not unusual, the broadband into our house is in my name, as are the mobile phone accounts. My wife doesn't have 'net access in her own name.

  4. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Joke

    Fee

    1% Fee? They should look to getting in on the Covid Contract lark - the commissions are more... to use a proper technical term juicy

    1. Dave 15 Silver badge

      Re: Fee

      Just a few shares for Hancock and his sister and coincidentally the contracts yous

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Trollface

    Allez Les (Passeports) Bleus !!!

    La France vous remercie pour vos contributions financières à notre bien-être!

    ♫♪ Allons, enfants de la patrie, Le jour de gloire est arrivé.....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Allez Les (Passeports) Bleus !!!

      Oui, mais tout de même, c'est Atos... Je dis que Brexit ou pas, ils ne méritent pas ça. Les pauvres...

    2. Big_Boomer Silver badge

      Re: Allez Les (Passeports) Bleus !!!

      Est-ce-que les Passeports Bleues des Rosbifs vont avoir marqué a l’intérieur "Fabriqué en France"? <MDR>

      1. Strahd Ivarius Bronze badge

        Re: Allez Les (Passeports) Bleus !!!

        Yes, of course :-)

        And they are part of the bargaining chip to have the UK relinquish its hold on its last European colonies...

  6. Blackjack Silver badge

    I don't think any private company should have access to such delicate data, hope there are no leaks on hacks any time soon.

  7. Dave 15 Silver badge

    Because...

    All because we don't have 20percent of our workforce idle and IT salaries falling from lack of demand. Of course it's cheaper to send money and work abroad and pay unemployment than it is to pay locals and keep money, employment and skills here. Of course 1500 quid a day for employing an engineer in Bangalore via a French company paying zero tax here is a bargain. I wish I knew where the civil servants responsible kept their back pocket cash as they must be bulging from the bribes

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