UK firm given more time on new passports

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Media caption Sobre La Rue boss Martin Sutherland

The government has granted the two-week extension in the process to decide that will make UK passports after Brexit.

British company Sobre La Rue – which got lost the £ 490m agreement to French-Dutch Gemalto in 03 – had requested the lengthier “standstill period”, which has now already been agreed by the Home Office.

It means a final decision will now be produced on Tuesday 17 April.

De La Rue can also be taking initial steps “towards starting appeal proceedings against the provisional decision”.

However , it has declined to clarify what this means legally or even how any appeal process may proceed.

The particular firm says the time extension can give it more time for close overview of the criteria that the Home Office utilized in coming to its decision to prize the contract to Gemalto.

It says it will eventually assess that information and whether or not it might help it in its arguments.

De La Rue’s bid was not the cheapest, but it stated it was “the highest quality and theoretically most secure”.

“We have a preferred bidder, which proven it was best able to meet the requirements of the passport service, delivering a top quality and secure product and giving best value for money for the taxpayer… that will remains the government’s position, inch said the prime minister’s official speaker.

But the extension “will give all bidders the chance to learn more detail and get more information from the House Office… this is standard process. inch

The spokesman additional: “This has been a rigorous, fair plus open process. ”

The current EU-themed burgundy passport, being used since 1988, will revert in blue and gold colour through October 2019. However , people are likely to keep their current passports till they expire.

Before the bidding process expansion, a spokesperson for De Una Rue had said: “We may accept that we weren’t the cheapest, even when our tender represented a significant price cut on the current price.

“It has also been suggested that the successful bid was well below the cost price, which causes us to issue how sustainable it is. ”

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Media caption UK passports: ‘The blue goes to us’ after Brexit

The decision to give the foreign company the contract have been criticised by pro-Brexit government figures.

Below EU procurement rules, the Home Workplace was required to open up the putting in a bid process to European firms, even though De La Rue has produced UK passports since 2009.

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The house Office had said the suggested Gemalto deal could save the particular taxpayer £ 100m-£ 120m which 70 new jobs would be developed in the UK, at sites in Fareham, in Hampshire, and Heywood within Lancashire.

It is about as a Daily Mail petition contacting for the Home Office to give the contract to some British firm reached 273, 500 signatures.

The house Office issues more than six mil passports annually and is the only service provider of passports to British people.

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