Home Office to re-run procurement of mobile fingerprinting devices
Department plans new procurement for biometric equipment following market engagement
Photo: Gerd Altmann/Pixabay
The Home Office has not awarded a £450,000 contract for mobile biometric equipment (MBE) as no compliant kit was submitted, according to a notice published on the government’s Contracts Finder service.
The original contract notice, published in April, sought 150 multifunctional MBE devices from one supplier which would include a fingerprint scanner, machine-readable zone text recognition and the ability to connect with Home Office Android smartphones. Suppliers would be expected to maintain and support the devices, which would be used to enrol as well as verify people, for at least three years.
Bidders were required to submit three of their proposed devices to the Home Office for evaluation as part of the restricted procedure. “The procurement was abandoned because no compliant prototype MBE device was submitted,” the department said in its cancellation notice.
It has also published a prior information notice, saying that as “a suitable device was not available in the market” it is seeking to engage with suppliers to test and develop its plans, including through a supplier event provisionally planned for 22 September, before launching a new procurement this autumn. The notice increases the estimated value of the equipment to £500,000.
In June, the Home Office said it would run a three-month pilot of self-service biometric kiosks for its facilities in Croydon and Solihull.
Gisela Stuart, whose brief included civil contingencies, recalls the havoc that was expected – and failed to materialise