The Sunday Telegraph has an article about the forthcoming London School of Economics counter proposal to the Government's Identity Card scheme. Along with other interested parties, we will await the publlication of this with interest, as it does not involve a centralised database.
However one reported aspect could do with a bit more thought, namely
"In the LSE's model, individuals will have to provide only a few details, but their application forms would have to be endorsed by three referees - a doctor, lawyer, teacher or police officer for example - who have known the applicant for a long time.
Crucially, the referees will have to include a professional identity detail - such as a doctor's or JP's registration number or police number - to deter fraudulent applications and hold them accountable."
See David Blunkett is an Arse for similar worries.
This is similar to what the Passport Office, as was, used to require for counter signatories on a Passport Application Form and/or the backs of Passport photos.
This lead to a dishonest trade in "official" signatures by "professionals" who would sign the forms, for a fee, pretending that they have known the applicant personally for at least 2 years, when in reality they hardly know the applicant at all.
Have you ever actually met your Bank Manager face to face, and if you have is he/she the same person you met two or more years ago ?
However, now under the UK Passport Service, a much wider range of people can apparently do this:
- Articled Clerk of a Limited Company
- Assurance Agent of Recognised Company
- Bank/Building Society Official
- Chairman/Director of Limited Company
- Christian Science Practitioner
- Commissioner of Oaths
- Councillor: Local or County
- Civil Servant (permanent)
- Engineer (with professional Qualifications)
- Fire Service Official
- Funeral Director
- Insurance agent (full time) of a recognised Company
- Justice of the Peace
- Legal Secretary (members and fellows of the Institute of legal secretaries)
- Local Government Officer
- Manager/Personnel Officer (of Limited Company)
- Member of Parliament
- Merchant Navy Officer
- Minister of a recognised religion
- Nurse (SRN and SEN)
- Officer of the armed services (Active or Retired)
- Paramedic (state registered)
- Person with Honours (eg OBE MBE etc)
- Photographer (Professional)
- Police Officer
- Post Office Official
- President/Secretary of a recognised organisation
- Salvation Army Officer
- Social Worker
- Teacher, Lecturer
- Trade Union Officer
- Travel Agency (Qualified)
- Valuers and auctioneers (fellow and associate members of the incorporated society)
- Warrant officers and Chief Petty Officers
Or persons of similar standing to the above, working or retired, are acceptable as countersignatories."
Astonishingly, the people who know you best, and for longest, i.e. your relatives, even if they are upstanding members of society in the categories listed above, are not allowed to countersign your application !