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Another successful year for Identity and Passport Service

Another successful year for Identity and Passport Service

HOME OFFICE News Release (123/2008) issued by The Government News Network on 1 July 2008

The Identity and Passport Service (IPS) has had another highly successful year with the smooth introduction of new passport interviews.

The IPS Annual Report and Accounts published today highlights IPS' success in exceeding all its customer service targets including processing 99.62 per cent of postal passport applications in ten days and a 97.5 per cent customer satisfaction rating. The report also shows that around 9,000 fraud attempts were detected in 2007/2008, up on last year's figures.

The latest anti-fraud measure to be introduced by IPS is a network of 68 offices opened to carry out face-to-face passport interviews for first-time adult applicants. Over the past 12 months these offices have completed more than 144,000 interviews.

Meg Hillier Home Office minister said:

"It is vital we do everything we can to keep the British passport a world-class, trusted and secure document, which is why these figures are so welcome.

"This report shows even greater progress is being made in the ways the Identity and Passport Service tackles fraud while it continues to give customer service that is second to none.

"IPS has shown it is a forward looking organisation which is ready to deliver the National Identity Scheme, which starts in November this year with compulsory identity cards for foreign nationals."

IPS Chief Executive James Hall said:

"I am delighted our annual report shows the Identity and Passport Service is performing so well against its key measures and continues to offer our customers a superb service.

"We are better placed than ever to build on our successes in the passport service to deliver the National Identity Scheme.

"I would like to thank all our staff for their hard work over the past year in making IPS a success."

The network of interview offices for first-time adult applicants builds on work to ensure the British passport remains a modern, trusted travel document. This work includes:

* the introduction of secure delivery of passports in 2004;
* the creation of the lost and stolen passport database in 2003;
* the introduction of enhanced background checks
* the switch to biometric ePassports in 2006;
* boosting the number of IPS specialist counter-fraud staff; and
* providing a Passport Validation Service (PVS) so that the validity of passports presented as proof of ID can be checked.

NOTES TO EDITORS

1. The Identity and Passport Service Annual Report and Accounts can be found at http://www.ips.gov.uk

2. It shows IPS' customer service performance has exceeded all its targets:

                            Target percent     Actual per cent
      Postal Passport             99.5%              99.9%
      applications processed in ten days
      Turnaround of ION cases     99.5%              100%
      within 15 elapsed working days
      Premium/Fast-track          99.5%              99.9%
      processed in four hours/five days
      Callers seen within 20 mins 92%                99% of appointment
      Phone calls answered in 20  90%                90.1%
      secs (a total of 3.7m calls)
      Accuracy of passport        99.75%             99.84% details
      Customer satisfaction       95%                97% rating 


3. IPS statistical estimates show 0.25 per cent of all applications are fraudulent. In 2007/08 IPS prevented 9,382 fraudulent applications, up from 7,030 the previous year. The IPS target was to reduce our level of unprevented application fraud to below 0.15 per cent of all passport applications - for 2007/08 unprevented fraud was 0.09 per cent of all applications.

4. Research has shown that more than half of fraudulent applications occur amongst first-time adult applicants, which is why interviews have been introduced for this group. A network of 68 interview offices has been rolled out across the country and more than 144,000 interviews have been carried out to date.

5. The latest National Identity Scheme tracking research was published today. It shows support for the National Identity Scheme remains stable at 59 per cent. This figure is unchanged from the last research published in February. The research can be viewed at http://www.ips.gov.uk

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