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UK’s mobile biometric equipment tender falls through, renewed by gov

Value increased from £450,000 to £500,000
UK’s mobile biometric equipment tender falls through, renewed by gov

A UK government contract for mobile biometric equipment (MBE) worth £450,000 (roughly $527,000) was not awarded as no compliant kit was submitted in time.

The tender was first issued in April and aimed to decrease the British government’s dependence on wet ink fingerprint biometrics capture by deploying a number of fingerprint scanners with machine-readable zone (MRZ) functionality.

The contract sought a single supplier able to deliver 150 mobile biometric enrollment devices over (minimum) three years, with a requirement to provide maintenance and support for the devices during at least the first three years of the contract.

Now, in a new ‘contract award notice,’ the Home Office said no contract had been granted as a result of the procurement process.

“The Authority undertook a Restricted Procedure to procure FAP-60 MBE devices,” reads the document. “However, the procurement was abandoned because no compliant prototype MBE device was submitted to the Authority.”

At the same time, the Home Office also started a new market engagement process with a view to undertaking a new MBE procurement in Autumn 2022. The new request for bids, available on the UK government’s Find a Tender website, increased the estimated value of the equipment to £500,000 (roughly $583,000).

“The Authority previously conducted a Restricted Procedure for MBE devices, but this did not lead to the award of a contract because a suitable device was not available in the market,” reads the new tender. “The Authority is now planning to start a new procurement but wishes to engage the market first to test and firm up its plans.”

Interested potential suppliers are invited to register on the Home Office Jaggaer eSourcing portal.

The new contract comes months after the Home Office announced it would deploy self-service biometric kiosks for a trial in UK immigration applications.

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