After ten years, smart ID card goes ahead

Government officials and HP Israel CEO Yehoshua Bakula sign to bring the cards to Israel.

After nearly ten years of wrangling, tenders, lawsuits, and mud-slinging, the saga of the tender for smart ID cards has reached its end. Today, in an impressive ceremony worthy of a project which became so complicated, representatives of the Ministries of the Interior and Finance signed a contract with HP Israel CEO Yehoshua Bakula to bring the smart ID cards to Israel.

The project is worth about NIS 270 million. It will take three years, and will include 5 million ID cards. As part of the project, HP will set up a plant in Caesarea that will employ 30 workers.

The smart ID cards has been a long-standing vision in Israel. It is a plastic card with an embedded electronic chip, and on the chip will be the details of the holder. The details will allow identification through various public computer systems. The card will also be ready for biometric identification.

Using the card, Israeli citizens will be able to access government services, to identify themselves to authorities through verification and identification (electronic signatures), to pay taxes, to renew drivers licenses, and other actions.

The estimated price of each card is NIS 46, 1 shekel higher than the Ministry of Interior estimate, while HP's base estimate was NIS 64.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on December 1, 2008

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2008

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