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    Location: Aberystwyth, Wales, United Kingdom

    I am the owner and managing director of Information Automation Limited (IAL), a company that specialises in research, consultancy and training for the information profession. We are particularly interested in all forms of electronic information resources (e-journals, e-books, etc) and I teach a course in electronic publishing at the Department of Information Studies in Aberystwyth. Drilling down still further(!), my interests centre on the quality and evaluation of electronic information, and in the thinking that underpins activities in library and information science.
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    Friday, July 14, 2006

    New future for ID Cards?

    A set back has been announced for the government's plans to keep tags on all its citizens. A number of papers reported this week that the procurement process was indefinately delayed. Ovum Telecoms and Software News reported:
    The government has announced that the procurement process for the national ID card programme will be delayed, with no commitment to any new schedule. The original plan had entailed the first ID cards being issued by 2008, but any chance of meeting this tight deadline would have required the procurement process to begin soon after the passing of the ID Card Bill in late March. The Home Office has now stated that it will not be bound by any notional deadlines, and has instituted a review of the programme before proceeding further.
    Ovum also reported that a Home Office spokesperson had told the BBC that the future of the ID card programme will depend on the outcome of the broader review of the functioning of the Home Office, instigated by the new Home Secretary, John Reid.
    The bad news is that the Prime Minister continues to back the scheme. However Ovum also reports that:
    It is therefore also worth noting that this week also saw the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, appoint Sir James Crosby to chair the Public Private Forum on Identity Management. According to the Treasury the forum will 'examine the evolving technologies used for identity management and consider how public and private sectors can work together to maximise efficiency and effectiveness'. The forum will produce a preliminary report for the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Ministerial Committee on Identity Management by Easter 2007. So we may well be presented with an alternative view on how best to meet the challenges of identity management before the current programme is restarted.
    It is my hope that the Committee will be soliciting opinions from bodies who understand information management and data protection - like CILIP.

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