Sir David Normington KCB†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††
4 February 2009
Dear Sir David
Home Office press release misleads the public
The 29 January 2009
Home Office press release Benefits of ID cards for
There is no doubt that the press release is misleading. The matter is demonstrated in the comments appended to this letter.
How can this happen? How can the Home Office issue a misleading press release?
This is not the first time that the Home Office has made these same questionable assertions about the National Identity Scheme (NIS) in press releases and other publications. Several people have brought this fact to the attention of the Home Office several times over a period of several years. It cannot be argued in this case that the Home Office did not know that the 29 January 2009 press release is misleading.
How is it possible that the Home Office does not issue a press release correcting the errors in earlier announcements?
How can the Home Office instead issue a press release in the full knowledge that it is misleading?
The claim is made in the 29 January 2009 press release that:
The promised "benefits of identity cards" are to assist in the fights against crime and terrorism and to help make public services more efficient. These are unimpeachable objectives. It would be surprising to meet anyone who doesn't support them. Is the Home Office suggesting in this press release that 41% of the public don't support them?
Of course not. It's just that the press release is imprecisely worded. Misleading.
The real question is
Examine the evidence, and it is clear that it couldn't. As the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) says :
If 59% of the public
still believe that the
Unlike the public,
prospective suppliers to the
On 29 January 2009,
at the same time as Home Secretary was telling the children of
A representative of APACS told her:
A representative of Barclaycard told her:
Why was there a Home
Office press release about the
In a speech on 16 December 2008 , the Home Secretary said:
Where is the common sense and openness in issuing misleading press releases?
The Home Office
didn't have to wait until APACS and Barclaycard told them last week,
sponsor of the
The meeting took place on 29 January 2009 and next day  he wrote:
Even the keen prospective
suppliers on the list are disappointed when they see the Home Office's design
You were interviewed by Civil Service Network on 17 December 2008 . The interview included this exchange:
The Home Office has
had over six years to work on the
Answer, the National Identity Scheme is a scheme with no users and no chance of achieving its stated aims. The number of key partners on whom the Home Office can rely for the delivery of ID card services is small, and seems to be falling. When they get a first-hand view of how the Home Office plan to deal with the issues, their enthusiasm tends to evaporate.
Six years after the
starting gun, all the
The press releases tell one story. Progress on the ground tells a quite different story. There is no connection between the two. The Home Office risks forfeiting public confidence.
 http://press.homeoffice.gov.uk/press-releases/Benefits-ID-cards-manchester (This homeoffice.gov.uk link no longer works but there are copies of the press release here http://www.irrv.net/forums/alert/index.asp?Art_id=1032&S_A=2 and here http://forum.no2id.net/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=26105 )