Tender for biometric passports in June. Ten firms expressed interest

Tender for biometric passports in June
Ten firms expressed interest
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Lebanese travelers will start using biometric passports by 2015. The Cabinet gave its go ahead to the Ministry of Interior to prepare for the shift, in line with the United Nations International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

ICAO’s requirements call for the adoption of biometric technologies by all member countries by 2015. The ministry will prepare the terms of reference for an international bid for the production of biometric passports. The Cabinet allocated around $88,000 for preparations. “Works on the project started last year,” said Colonel Hassan Ali Ahmad, Head of the Information Technology Department at the General Directorate of General Security.

Tenders for the project are expected to be launched by the beginning of June. “The terms of reference need around three more months for completion, and announcing tenders would take a month and a half.”

Ahmad said around ten firms, international and local, have already expressed their interest in taking on the production of the new passports. “Companies interested in applying for the tender should have enough capacity and experience in the field,” he said.

The new passport has the identity of its holder embedded on a small electronic chip on the front cover. “Biometric passports will play an imperative role in limiting forgery attempts,” Ahmad said.

Reported by Yassmine Alieh
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Date Posted: Jan 30, 2013