The Chief Minister of Gibraltar Fabian Picardo, alongside Minister Paul Balban unveiled a new eID card. The new electronic ID cards will be used for travel and as part of an overall strategy to develop the government’s plans for e-government services.
The new eID Card, supplied by German security expert Mühlbauer, has many enhanced security features, the e-ID Card will form the backbone of HM Government’s eGov initiative and, once the eID Card has been widely issued, holders will have the security to access the many eGov services which are being planned. For example, in the near future, the new card provide the necessary security to enable card-holders to complete their tax returns on line.
The first eID cards will be issued at the end of June, as reported by local newspaper Gibraltar Panorama. During the switch-over, the new eID Cards will be issued without cost for a limited period of time but there may be a charge for the new card once the introductory period is over. This will help encourage a timely transition to the updated model, keeping parallel running to an absolute minimum, if possible.
The existing, laminated ID cards, will be phased out of use over the course of this year.
Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, said: “This is a hugely exciting project which we set out in our manifesto at the last election. I asked Paul Balban to assist me in delivering this project given the relationship and the expertise he and his department developed in the roll out of the new EU format driving licences. He has done a magnificent job, ably assisted by the excellent team of civil servants from the immigration, transport and IT departments of the Government to deliver an excellent new ID card which our people will be proud to show-off as a state of the art product with the latest and most avant-garde security features. The problems experienced by travellers using their ID cards should as a result be a thing of the past! Our thanks also go to the team at the Home Office who have assisted us in communicating the format of the new ID card to all member states and who have advised on how best to roll-out the new cards and to Muehlbauer, the company delivering the product in conjunction with us.”
Minister Balban said “The updated Electronic Identity Card will simplify the holder’s use of Government services, both on and offline. The e-ID will be immediately valid for travel within EEA Member States and will provide holders with added advantages which may include free access to Public Parking, free access to Public Transport, access to future e-Government services, and many other initiatives that are currently being planned. Our present ID Card has served us well since 1995 when the current version was introduced as an EU travel document but now needs to be brought in line with modern technology including the enhancement of its security features to the most sophisticated available within the world. All in all, we present Gibraltar with an identity card we can all be proud of.”