here [quote="The Times]February 07, 2007 New e-passport may not travel well Richard Ford, Home Correspondent The new electronic passport could need to be replaced after two years rather then the usual ten because of doubts over how long components will last, a report by the parliamentary spending watchdog says today. The microchips used carry only a two-year warranty and their ability to withstand usage by travellers is unknown. Four million of the e-passports have been issued but the National Audit Office high-lights flaws and says that it might not provide the security benefits promised. Travellers could face delays when improved passport readers are installed at ports and airports in the spring because of the failure to conduct trials involving large numbers of people. The Home Office moved swiftly yesterday to reassure travellers that they would not have to pay for a new passport if a manufacturing fault caused the chip to fail. A full ten-year passport costs Â£66. âIf itâs a manufacturerâs fault, the passport holder will not have to pay for a new passport,â a Home Office spokesman said. The Home Office has reached a deal with the manufacturers to pay for replacements within the two-year warranty period, but unless it reaches agreement for failures beyond two years the costs will be met by taxpayers. Although the National Audit Officeâs report praises the im-plementation on time of the Â£448 million scheme, it says that flaws make it uncertain that the security benefits will be achieved. It says: âThe impact of using readers to examine e-passports in high-volume situations at immigration is unknown both in terms of performance of the readers and potential delays to travellers.â The report adds that, as faces change over a decade, the software may fail to find matches when it should. The report also says that savings could have been made if the Foreign Office, the Identity and Passport Service and the Immigration and Nationality Directorate had collaborated more closely, rather than each purchasing readers separately. The report also discloses that the Government has consulted lawyers as many intellectual property rights in the chip are held by Philips Semiconduc-tors, rather than the Identity and Passport Service. Edward Leigh, chairman of the Commons Public Accounts Committee, said: âIt makes a pleasant change to be able to welcome a project from the Home Office which has been delivered on time and budget. However, the devil may yet be in the detail.â On the move 48m British citizens hold a passport 6m passports are issued annually 450,000 passports are issued at Foreign and Commonwealth posts abroad Â£66 The cost of a standard adult passport Â£1,300 Cost of a passport reader Source: National Audit Office [/quote] par for the course with these jokers in power.