The Identity and Passport Service (IPS) has announced that De La Rue has won the contract to produce the new British passport. The contract is worth £400 million.
The new passport will be available from October 2010. It will have a new design and improved security features, including the facility to hold fingerprint biometrics. The IPS says that the new passport will mean less risk of identity theft and help secure the borders. It is also hoped that the new passport will meet future requirements for international travel documents.
"The British passport is recognised as one of the best in the world and we want to keep it that way. Today we are affirming our commitment to making this travel document more secure than ever by using fingerprint biometrics," said IPS chief executive James Hall.
"Upgrading the British passport is essential to keep pace with the most advanced international standards for travel documents and will ensure that British citizens have the freedom to travel easily world-wide.
"De La Rue has shown it is superbly placed to deliver this large project and we are delighted they are working with us."
The bidding process started with twenty bidders in June 2008. De La Rue was picked out of the twenty to design and produce the new British Passport.
"The Identity and Passport Service was looking for a partner it could rely on to deliver the complete service for the UK passport," said James Hussey, CEO of De La Rue. "As a British company, producing passports and identity documents for over 50 governments, De La Rue is proud to be selected to bring its expertise to this project. This contract further reinforces De La Rue's strong growth in the identity sector."