Eight companies have got through the first stage of the Identity Card Scheme procurement process.
Accenture, BAE Systems, CSC, EDS, Fujitsu, IBM, Steria and Thales have been given the go ahead to enter a competitive dialogue with the Identity and Passport Service (IPS) for places on the National Identity Scheme Strategic Supplier Framework.
Bill Crothers, executive director at the IPS, told GC News on 19 October 2007 that it intends to reduce the number to "approximately five" when the framework is launched in May 2008.
He said that the eight provided the most appropriate responses to the questionnaire, and that the IPS intends to remain flexible about the number of firms. The original intention was to include 10 companies at this stage, and it is still possible that the final number could be different.
"The process so far has essentially been about an exchange of paper," Crothers said. "We're now moving into an engagement. We're starting to meet with the companies and will have intense and detailed discussions."
The companies that win places on the framework will agree to common contract terms and be able to take part in a series of mini-competitions to supply different elements of the scheme. The first of these is expected to begin six months after the framework is in place.
About 50 companies attended a bidders' conference in mid September. Crothers said that some of these could still be engaged in the scheme as sub-contractors to the companies on the framework.
"We expect the main companies to have declared their subcontractor arrangements for the framework but will still be open to new subcontractors, although we would have to agree with them," Crothers said.
This article was originally published at Kablenet.
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