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Home Office to consolidate biometrics systems



Department aims to bring together IDENT 1 and IABS for central platform to manage fingerprint, DNA and facial matching data

The Home Office is aiming to consolidate its two biometrics systems into one by the spring of next year.

It has indicated that it plans to bring together the capabilities under the IDENT 1 fingerprint system and the Immigration and Asylum Biometric System (IABS) when the relevant contracts expire in March and April 2019 respectively.

The department has begun to test the market for single service management capability, which would involve the development of a central platform as part of the Home Office Biometric (HOB) Programme.

A prior information notice indicates that any contract would be worth between £198 million and £308 million, and would run for between six and 10 years beginning in September of this year.

It places the focus on the ability to manage data on fingerprints, DNA and facial matching, with the requirements including application support and maintenance, infrastructure support services, migration of the existing systems to a public cloud host, and consolidating into two data centres.

The change will also involve changing the highly distributed deployment architecture of the current systems into a centralised and virtualised solution.

IDENT 1 links police and justice agencies throughout the UK and is currently run by Northrop Grumman, which has previously emphasised its potential for integration with data on biometrics other than fingerprints. IABS is run by IBM.

Image from Jan Kalab, CC BY 2.0 through flickr

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