Ireland awards HID Global €15M passport processing contract
Ireland’s Department of Foreign affairs has awarded a €14.7 million (US$16.5 million) contract to HID Global’s Irish subsidiary to process applications for biometric passports, reports the Irish Examiner.
HID Global Ireland Teoranta, first opened in 2019 and subsequently re-tendered, won the tender. HID Global previously worked on the Irish passport card for intra-EU travel, which also includes an embedded chip storing data for biometric verification of the bearer.
The new contract will see the firm providing back-office processing system and system-of-record for all passport and foreign birth registration applications, according to the Examiner.
Staff at passport offices in Dublin, Cork and overseas will use it, as will applicants applying online, via post or in-person.
The award is part of an overhaul of Ireland’s passport system as it replaces the legacy system whose technology has been in place since 2004. A backlog has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic as passport processing capacity was significantly reduced, but the Department of Foreign Affairs has said it would not address the immediate challenges facing the overall system.
The project is part of Ireland’s National Development Plan. The government recently announced the results of a cost-benefit analysis of the country’s digital ID system which has saved upward of €200 million and potentially as much as €1 billion if a broader model were used.