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Idemia supplies 2.8M more biometric passports for Nepal at reduced price

Booklet deal to bridge supply gap with new contract coming
Idemia supplies 2.8M more biometric passports for Nepal at reduced price

The government of Nepal has reached a deal with Idemia to supply 2.8 million biometric passports, which the country’s foreign minister says will be sufficient supply for 18 months, according to The Kathmandu Post.

Nepal is also preparing a call for international bids to provide a passport system and booklets to issue another 6 million of the travel ID documents. The passport procurement project is expected to take between 18 and 24 months.

Idemia is slated to receive $10.13 per booklet, in a proposed deal that will include 26 enrollment centers in Nepal, one at its consulate in Chengdu, China, and an automated biometric identification system (ABIS) capable of holding and processing data from 3 million people. The company has been supplying Nepal’s passports since winning a tender in 2020 reportedly worth $21.1 million.

The 34-page booklets cost Nepal $10.45 under the original agreement, but demand for the shorter version was higher than expected, and stocks ran low. Idemia supplied 300,000 more at the original price, which will also run out soon, prompting the negotiations on a new price.

Technical experts were sent by Idemia to inspect the software used by Nepal’s Department of Passports at the beginning of 2023, local outlet Republica reports. They were responding to a request for help after problems with the software delayed service delivery.

Nepal is also issuing national ID cards, with a contract for verifying submitted data awarded to Idemia’s local agent Advantage International, and then stripped and awarded to Schema Technology, which is owned by Nepal Prime Minister Kamal Dahal.

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