Home Office issues $118m biometrics, digitization tender for UK Visas and Immigration

The Home Office has issued a tender for “front end services” including biometrics and the digitization of supporting evidence valued at £91 million (US$118.3 million) on behalf of UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), according to a report by Kable Government Computing.

The length of the the contract is three years, with a built-in option for the Home Office, acting through UKVI to extend the agreement for two additional years.

The contracted services include an identity check, the capture of biometrics, digitization of supporting evidence and secure submission of all data to the Home Office, acting through UKVI.

Under the agreement, the winning Front End Services (FES) UK supplier will need to provide all the premises, people, hardware and software to deliver these services as well as supporting integration with Home Office systems in line with Government Digital Service (GDS) standards.

Additionally, the supplier will also be tasked with providing a range of optional and chargeable services that generate revenue.

The “Front End Services” are expected to be “available to customers” from October 2018, which gives the winning supplier just over a year to develop and provide the services.

UKVI said it wants FES (UK) to create a “streamlined, digitized and accessible application service, whilst offering a choice for customers in how they experience that service and facilitate opportunities to generate revenue that align with customer demand.”

The agency hopes to migrate to a self-service, digital experience for all parts of the application process. In addition, UKVI believes that a commercial supplier can achieve this goal within the UK and diversify the offer, deliver efficiency and improve the customer experience.

The tender states the services in the scope of the procurement are separated into the main categories of core services (biometric capture, identity check, and digitization of supporting evidence), priority services, and added value services.

All interested bidders must submit clarification requests by August 25 with responses to be sent by September 4.

In December, the Home Office announced it will provide more than £26 million in additional police transformation funding in support of 28 projects or technology plans over the next three years, including a joint forensics and biometrics program, as well as a national data analytics focus.

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