THE STATE HAS launched a tender for the production of the next round of Public Service Cards (PSC).
The controversial card, which was first introduced in 2012 for accessing certain social welfare payments but has now been expanded as a requirement for many other services, currently has a seven-year lifespan.
Now, the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) has launched an official tender for bids for the ‘implementation, production, personalisation and distribution of the Public Services Card and the provision of associated services’.
This news suggests that, despite concerns over the PSC’s legal viability and the extent to which it will comply with the EU’s forthcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Social Protection is fully committed to the card for the foreseeable future.
To date, 3.14 million generation one PSCs have been produced for 2.65 million people at a cost of €59.7 million.
The new generation PSC is set to cater for people whose card has expired, and also those who may have turned 18 (adult age) or 66 (retirement age) since their card was issued.
While the second generation of the card (dubbed PSC-2 in the tender documents) is expected to closely model the functionality of its original incarnation, the newer model is set to boast ‘additional features’, specifically those designed to take advantage of the advent of contactless technology.
exec Excerpt from the second generation PSC’s procurement specification
The initial card had two datasets – visible (including PPS number, name, and signature) and private (date of birth etc – contained on the card’s chip). The newer generation of card doesn’t look set to change much from its original incarnation from that point of view.