The civil service expects to deliver nearly 100 public services digitally by 2020
The Home Office is pushing ahead with the digitalisation of Her Majesty’s Passport Office (HMPO), dangling the prospect of a five-year, £80 million contract for the company that can help it become a “modern digital business”.
A market engagement event is scheduled with potential suppliers for September 18 as HMPO – which issues over six million passports every year – aims to hit a target of making 90 percent of renewals fully digital by 2020.
The opportunity comes after the government rolled out online passport renewals in March 2017, allowing applicants (with an existing adult British passport) to submit all their paperwork, including a photo from a smartphone, online.
The Home Office, which is the contracting authority, described the new opportunity as a comprehensive one.
“The service will maintain business continuity of a range of existing back-office services, to support passport application processing; reducing and removing reliance on the current paper workflow; and removing geographical processing constraints.”
Passport Office: No More Paper Forms…
A short procurement scope description continued: “The required services will include (but not be limited to), secure handling and digitisation of documentation, cashiering and payment processing, checking and validation of documentation, physical storage and retrieval of documentation and return of documentation to the applicant.”
A new contract to make the UK’s post-Brexit passports was handed to Franco-Dutch firm Gemalto in April this year. The 11.5 year contract is worth approximately £260 million. Gemalto takes over from the UK’s own De La Rue. Gemalto came in £140 million cheaper than the existing contract, awarded in 2009, the government said.
The move to digitalisation comes as part of a broader government push to move away from paper-based services, which remain in wide use.
The civil service expects to deliver nearly 100 public services digitally by 2020 and is currently delivering 40 major government transformation programmes, including a new Childcare Choices website, the ongoing Universal Credit system and a fully digital tax system, as well as the biggest courts reform programme in the world.