UK Gov screw up again: Brit passports to be printed in Malta at extra cost of £100m

#1
... wouldn't surprise me if the passport helpline was to be manned by personnel from a third world country who could speak only pidgin-English.

HERE
Fury over switch to make British passports abroad... at increased cost of £100m

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 1:25 PM on 12th December 2010

MP demands contract be retendered

British passports are to be printed in Malta which could mean 100 UK jobs lost and cost the taxpayer an extra £100 million.

And the UK firm which won the contract, De La Rue , is being investigated by the Serious Fraud office and could be French-owned within weeks.

Anger was mounting last night over the deal which was agreed by Labour and backed by the Coalition Government.


Checking: One in every five new British passports is expected to be printed in Malta

De La Rue, the world's biggest bank note printer, is charging taxpayers £100million more than a rival Greater Manchester-based company, which has made our passports for the past 40 years.

Shares in the company, which makes banknotes for the Bank of England and 150 other countries, tumbled by a third last year after its production problems were revealed, leading its chief executive to resign.

But they bounced back by over 25 per cent last week with news of a possible takeover by French-owned firm Oberthur.

Now an MP has demanded the £400million passport contract be offered out to tender again, according to the Sunday Express.

Bosses at 3M Security Printing in Oldham, the firm that has printed British passports for decades, have told the Government they can make them over the next 10 years for £100million less than De La Rue.

'It is not a sum to be sniffed at,' said Labour MP Michael Meacher, MP for Oldham West and Royston.

'It is not far short of one per cent of the entire spending cuts that the Government hopes to make in this fiscal year.'

Mr Meacher also fears that apart from the security risks of allowing another country to print British passports, De La Rue may not be able to fulfil the deal.

The company is at centre of its second Serious Fraud Office probe in three years following allegations of corruption by the company's employees totalling at least £1m.

The company said some staff had 'deliberately falsified certain paper specification test certificates' and added that production errors would cost the company at least £35m.

It is believed one in every five of the six million new passports needed each year will be printed by De La Rue in Malta.

Union bosses are furious. 'It is unthinkable that our passports and other identification systems could be produced outside of the UK,' said Tony Burke, assistant general secretary of Unite.

It has since emerged that Gill Rider, 54, a leading member of the Cabinet Office and one of Gordon Brown’s senior mandarins, was a non-executive director of De La Rue on £43,000 a year when bidding for the deal began.

De La Rue declined to comment.
 
#2
... wouldn't surprise me if the passport helpline was to be manned by personnel from a third world country who could speak only pidgin-English.
I shouldn't worry too much,
I reckon half of all British Passports have been printed in the Indian sub-continent, another 25% in Eastern Europe and a few more in Israel.
 
#3
It is about as much of a joke as the fact that most British Embassies and Consulates no longer print passports for UK expats. They now have to be posted to "Regional" centres leaving F&C staff to concentrate on more important issues - cocktail parties, schmoozing and spending allowances.
 
#4
But surely the Daily Mail should be in favour of the Coalition taking 'the tough decisions' to reduce government spending?

I'm confused. Anyone would think they were guilty of hypocrisy or something.
 

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#5
But surely the Daily Mail should be in favour of the Coalition taking 'the tough decisions' to reduce government spending?

I'm confused. Anyone would think they were guilty of hypocrisy or something.
I liked the bit at the end where they note the "Conflict of Interest" of a cabinet member also being a Non-Exec Director at De La Rue, not that would ever happen in the Tory party, who maintain a rigourous distance from closeted and personal business interests at all times.

Politicticians looking out for their own back pockets since time began.
 
#7
Daily Mail:

could mean...
could be...
according to the Sunday Express...
Bosses at [a rival firm]...
It is believed...
Union bosses [that the DM usually despise]...
Well I'm glad that article is full of such clear facts. Sources have told me that the Iranians could be printing UK passports on the moon at the behest of their Somali backers.

There would obviously be no chance of any wrongdoing were passports to be printed in the UK by a British owned firm staffed by the entirely trustworthy British people and then distributed by those bastions of honesty working for the Royal Mail. None. And I've never had a tax disc go missing in the mail. And, if I did, the DVLA would be extremely surprised and wouldn't suggest they've been stolen. There must have been some very small fires affecting the envelopes.
Yep, British workers would never engage in such nefarious activity. Our prisons would be empty if it wasn't for those dastardly Maltese and French.
 
#8
But surely the Daily Mail should be in favour of the Coalition taking 'the tough decisions' to reduce government spending?

I'm confused. Anyone would think they were guilty of hypocrisy or something.
You mean like when they slate people/companies for their tax avoidance schemes?
 
#9
You mean like when they slate people/companies for their tax avoidance schemes?
Now, now Stacker. I'm sure you're aware that it's an irregular verb:

I prudently arrange my finances

You evade tax

He/she are sponging off the taxpayer

They need to be hung

It's a diabolical liberty

etc.
 
#10
So we can expect to see a load of maltesers coming here with British passports.
 
#11
I liked the bit at the end where they note the "Conflict of Interest" of a cabinet member also being a Non-Exec Director at De La Rue, not that would ever happen in the Tory party, who maintain a rigourous distance from closeted and personal business interests at all times.

Politicticians looking out for their own back pockets since time began.
My understanding is that the woman involved was a senior civil servant, not an MP. Now I didn't think Civil Servants were allowed to hold directorships, other than in family firms. That would be a wee bit like the permanent secretary at the MoD getting a job on the board at Westland before the decision to buy Future Lynx rather than much cheaper, Sikorsky Blackhawks was made.

In other news, the chip in the back of your 10 year passport is only guaranteed by the manufacturer for 2 years.
 
#12
Don't see what the issue is, ever checked out the people who inspect the passports at our borders?
 
#14
Sarcasm On:

I can see no security implications from printing UK passports overseas.
 

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