23 October 2007 | Andy Allen
The Identity and Passport Service (IPS) has short-listed eight companies to tender for the £2 billion contract to supply passports and ID cards.
Accenture, BAE Systems, CSC, EDS, Fujitsu, IBM, Steria, and Thales will go forward to the next stage of the process to gain a place on the IPS framework agreement for the project. IPS will reduce the list to five suppliers by May next year.
The framework agreement will act as an approved contractor list, which will allow suppliers to participate in mini-competitions for smaller contracts worth between £50 and £500 million.
Bill Crothers, IPS Commercial Director, said: "We now have a solid core of eight 'prime' bidders who will go forward to the next stage of the procurement process. Each prime bidder has their own network of sub-contractors representing a wide range of industry talent."
Experts have expressed surprise at the IPS decision to set up a framework agreement, which are common for the procurement of less complex goods and services (News, 23 August). They added agreements allow more and faster competitions and avoid excessive reliance on a single contractor.