UK Home Office posts tender for facial recognition system

The UK’s Home Office has posted a tender notice looking to procure a facial recognition system, and workflow for its Identity and Passport Service (IPS).

According to the tender, “the architecture will comprise a facial recognition engine, and a facial recognition workflow capability which includes business rules, management information, audit and a data interface from an existing application system.”

The tender has been split into two lots: the engine, and the workflow, and companies are allowed to bid for either or both.

For the engine, the immediate requirement is to help determine an applicant’s entitlement to and eligibility for a British Passport, though the tender also indicates that this component should also be available to be used by other public sector bodies. The home office estimates the cost of this contract to be between US $1.5-6 million (£1-4 million).

For the second lot – the facial recognition workflow – the home office estimates a cost of between US $7.5-16 million (£5-11 million)

In terms of scale, the IPS says it typically issues approximately 5.4 million UK passports and conducts 300,000 identity authentication interviews.

According to a report in the Register, the cost of this contract has been questions and has come under fire.

More information is available in the posted tender.

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