This opportunity is closed for applications

The deadline was Monday 8 August 2022
Home Office Migration and Borders

Home Office Biometric Self-Service Kiosk Trial

5 Incomplete applications

2 SME, 3 large

6 Completed applications

2 SME, 4 large

Important dates

Published
Monday 25 July 2022
Deadline for asking questions
Monday 1 August 2022 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Monday 8 August 2022 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Contracted out service: the off-payroll rules do not apply
Summary of the work
The Home Office will be running a minimum of a three-month unsupervised self-service kiosk trial in the UK. The self-service kiosks must securely enrol face and fingerprint biometrics and biographics from real customers, and bind them to the customer, without staff assistance or supervision.
Latest start date
Wednesday 30 November 2022
Expected contract length
6 Months
Location
South East England
Organisation the work is for
Home Office Migration and Borders
Budget range
Up to £500,000. This should cover any development and installation costs and three months live run of the trial.

About the work

Why the work is being done
The Home Office’s ambition is that all visitors and migrants will provide their biometric facial images and fingerprints under a single global immigration system ahead of travel to the UK, utilising remote self-enrolment for those who are not required to apply for a visa as part of an ecosystem of enrolment options. To assess the maturity of industry capabilities, the Home Office ran Biometrics Self-Enrolment Feasibility Trials from 29th November to 22nd December 2021.

This trial will be the next stage of testing for self-service kiosks to understand how they perform in the operational setting when there is no staff supervision. In the future, the Home Office envisages that self-service kiosks will be one of the enrolment options available as part of an ecosystem of options.

It is the Home Office’s aim to understand how self-service kiosks perform in the operational setting.
Problem to be solved
Self-service kiosks are a relatively mature solution. However, the Home Office needs to test how they perform in a live setting when there is no staff supervision and where an applicant may have limited experience of biometric enrolment. Before a full live service can be considered, the self-service kiosks must prove they can reliably verify ePassports, and enrol high quality face and fingerprint biometrics and biographics, bind the individual to their face and fingerprint biometrics and operate effective presentation attack detection. The self-service kiosk must do this for all potential customers, while delivering a simple user experience, and the kiosks should be able to operate in an unsupervised environment.
Who the users are and what they need to do
The users will be real Home Office customers applying for immigration products in the UK. A diverse range of customers will be selected to take part in the trial from the Office for National Statistics categories of age, sex and ethnicity , this will include those with disabilities.
Early market engagement
The Home Office released a request for information to industry in 2020 and held feasibility trials in late 2021 to understand the maturity of biometric self-enrolment technology.
Any work that’s already been done
N/A
Existing team
The Home Office will provide relevant expertise across delivery, technical and commercial to support the trial.
Current phase
Alpha

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Croydon & Solihull
Working arrangements
The supplier will be required to provide at least four self-service kiosks. Three will be hosted in Home Office biometric enrolment locations, where members of the public will enrol on their biometrics and biographics. Another one will be hosted in a Presentation Attack Detection facility.

Before the trial begins, there will be a testing phase, followed by a go/no-go decision.

Once the trial begins, the supplier should be readily available to address technical or functional issues with the self-service kiosk. However, they must not interfere with the enrolment process or provide any form of assistance to the enrolee.
Security clearance
Security Check (SC)

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions

Skills and experience

Buyers will use the essential and nice-to-have skills and experience to help them evaluate suppliers’ technical competence.

Essential skills and experience
  • Experience of reading and validating biometric travel documents. This includes assessing the document authenticity and providing a high confidence match of the document facial image to the live image
  • The capturing of facial and fingerprint biometrics in accordance with Home Office standards based on NIST and ICAO.
  • The execution of face presentation attack detection that can detect a wide range of attack types and provide a suitable scoring mechanism.
  • Experience of building self-service kiosk solutions for varying environmental conditions and demographic profiles.
  • Implementation and installation of self-service kiosk services into various sites and locations.
  • Evidence of a strong understanding of usability and how to apply it for a service which is easy to use by all Home Office customers, regardless of demographic.
  • Ability to capture biometrics using a self-service kiosk from all customers, including children and those with disabilities.
  • Data handling and protection in accordance with legislation that ensures there is no data loss. Demonstrate an ability to conform with Home Office standards.
  • Initiating and handling secure enrolment sessions such that customer details are kept private and there is no data leakage.
  • Ability to enable self-enrolment kiosks to be independently installed and remotely maintained.
  • Capability to iteratively adapt the self-service kiosk configuration and settings to react to the on-going pilot findings and improve the service.
  • A lead supplier must take responsibility for the entire solution.
  • Demonstrate an ability to deliver at least four self-service kiosks and an indication of any lead times.
  • Demonstrate an ability to deliver biometric enrolment data in a format and content that aligns with Home Office data definitions, which can be digested and analysed
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Languages other than English.
  • Constant video footage for security and retrospective quality assurance.
  • Ability to control the enrolment environment to aid the enrolment process.
  • Manual data entry of biographic details in exceptional circumstances.
  • Executing fingerprint presentation attack detection which can detect a wide range of attack types
  • Previous experience of hosting a self-service kiosk solution which can be evidenced.
  • Ability to securely confirm that the face and fingerprint biometrics belong to the customer making the enrolment within a physically unsupervised environment.

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
3
Proposal criteria
  • Response to questions within the technical solution including a Demonstration
  • Value for money
  • Response to cultural fit question
Cultural fit criteria
Working as a team with Government and other suppliers.
Payment approach
Fixed price
Additional assessment methods
Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

70%

Cultural fit

10%

Price

20%

Questions asked by suppliers

1. In “nice to have” you ask: Ability to control the enrolment environment to aid the enrolment process. Given we are deploying in Home Office environments, can you clarify the skill?
The environments used for the pilot will be controlled as they will be hosted in Home Office locations. However, in the longer-term, self-service kiosks may be hosted in a variety of locations which differ in lighting and humidity levels. It is essential that the enrolment experience is not impacted by the environment and we are interested to understand how suppliers may look to achieve this. It is unlikely that self-service kiosks would ever be hosted outdoors.
2. With reference to the Essential Skills and Experience Question “Data handling and protection in accordance with legislation that ensures there is no data loss. Demonstrate an ability to conform with Home Office standards.” You ask to demonstrate an ability to conform with Home Office standards, can you please confirm which Home Office standards you are referring to?
The standards are laid out in document HOB-S001 Biometric Conformance Requirements. There is also an existing ICD for transmitting the biometrics through a Batch Interface. In addition, there is a data definition for a simple CSV text file for metrics not captured by the ICD.
3. With reference to essential Skills and experience question “Experience of building self-service kiosk solutions for varying environmental conditions and demographic profiles.” When you say ‘varying environmental conditions’, is this in reference to internal vs external environment, internal environment conditions e.g. lighting or both?
The environments used for the pilot will be controlled as they will be hosted in Home Office locations. However, in the longer-term, self-service kiosks may be hosted in a variety of locations which differ in lighting and humidity levels. It is essential that the enrolment experience is not impacted by the environment and we are interested to understand how suppliers may look to achieve this. It is unlikely that self-service kiosks would ever be hosted outdoors.
4. With reference to Essential Skills and Experience question “Demonstrate an ability to deliver biometric enrolment data in a format and content that aligns with Home Office data definitions, which can be digested and analysed.” When you say ‘ability to deliver biometric enrolment data in a format and content that aligns with Home Office data definition’, can you please provide the Home Office data definition.
We require the biometric data to conform to an existing defined Batch Interface. In addition, we require data that allows us to evaluate the performance of the new capability. It is essential this data is uniquely identifiable and can be related to the a donor enrolment based on the barcode initially scanned. The data will be manually transferred to the Home Office using its MOVEit secure transfer mechanism.
5. How will security work regarding the kiosks being remotely maintained? Where will this responsibility sit?
The supplier is expected to maintain it i.e. respond to any breakdowns, failures etc. Ideally, the kiosk should be as remotely controlled by the supplier as possible, as it could be costly to send engineers onsite.

We're looking at setting a series of security benchmarks and standards and for suppliers to undertake self-assessment and provide evidence of achievement with these. These requirements will be detailed in the ITT
6. How does this differ from the JSaRC trials held in Manchester?
This trial will be a fully operational solution. The requirements have been refined from the lessons learned at the JSaRC trials. We also want to explore the potential challenges that could arise, for example, in terms of usability such as collecting biometrics from children.

For the JSaRC trials, suppliers had to ‘guess’ the Home Office’s operating points in terms of quality and reject rates, but these have since been defined and this pilot will enable kiosk to be tuned and tested in the field over a number of cycles to optmise the performance towards the Home Office operating points.
7. Are prices required at this stage?
No, prices/ financial submissions are not required at this stage.
8. How much time will be given to respond to the ITT?
Two weeks will be given from the date of publication to the date of ITT response submission by suppliers.
9. Can you give more information on the ongoing support and availability you are expecting for the trial, covering the infrastructure, applications, and development levels of services?
To be held in Home Office service centre locations rather than a public space. The supplier will be responsible for the equipment installation and maintenance. Kiosks will operate in office hours (possibly some extended hours). Downtime would be agreed with suppliers as required.

The Home Office will provide power, floor space and Level 1 support such as handling any incidents that kiosk users raise. Home Office staff can also perform basic maintenance activities such as wiping scanners. Remote support needs to rely on standalone network and infrastructure provided by the supplier. Supplier staff will not need to operate the kiosk
10. How will the remote upload of biometrics work?
The supplier will need to upload the captured biometrics to the Home Office MOVEit system. The frequency will be between daily and weekly.

The Home Office would expect the supplier to provision and maintain remote connection to their kiosks. The Home Office is interested in where/how the supplier stores biometric data and restores that data to the kiosk. The data could be stored on the supplier’s own premises, but the Home Office wants to know how the supplier manages that network connectivity.
11. The first response is due in six working days, what is driving this urgency, given deployment at the end November?
The timeline is set by the Digital Outcomes and Specialist (DOS) framework. To clarify, the six working days is the response for the purposes of our shortlisting, we're not expecting a full proposal in this timeframe. We're expecting some descriptions against the ‘must-have’ and the ‘nice to have’ experiences outlined in the presentation. The ITT stage will involve a demonstration so this part of the process will potentially be longer.
12. What is expected at the end of November, the contract starts or the deployment of the first kiosks?
We're aiming to have a contract in place by November. Post award we anticipate there being some discovery, development and test prior to installation. Our current aim is to have the actual live portion of the trial in January 2023. We would like indicative timelines from suppliers to set our expectations.
13. Travel agencies and Train Stations were listed as potential Environments/Locations. Have more external environments been considered?
The actual pilot itself will be in the UK. We are expecting there to be three locations: a Home Office location in Solihull and London, then a third location in a PAD tester location.

Our longer-term ambition is that we would have unsupervised self-service kiosks outside of the UK, so that customers could enrol ahead of travel as part of their immigration product application. However, we have not yet agreed where the self-service kiosks would be based or the wider approach to implementation.
14. Can you elaborate on how the data will be transferred - this can be made available on devices, but can you elaborate on how you see Home Office accessing this?
The supplier will collect the data at the kiosk and store it. The supplier will decide how and where that data is stored. The data must be uploaded to the Home Office MoveIT system (browser based upload service).

There are two files expected in the interface for each enrolment:

1) The biometric data which will be in a NIST file - specification will be provided by the Home Office in the ITT

2) For the non-biometric data not contained in the NIST file we expect a simple CSV file format using a simple primary key name convention
15. It has been mentioned how usability is key but that it was one of the weaknesses of the previous trial. Can you share more information on any other weaknesses discovered at the initial trial?
Usability is key and whilst the rates for this in the JSaRC trials were very good we see room for improvement in this area. We are aiming for usability in the high 99% percent range. We would like to refer suppliers to the trial reports Biometric self-enrolment feasibility trials - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) as this describes everything we can make public at this point outside of the ITT.
16. Is there an estimate for about how many kiosks could one day be deployed for ETA enrolment?
There are a number of ways we may look to deploy self-service kiosks in the future, but we are still considering the options for an approach. For ETA, we foresee that the large majority of applications will be made through a smartphone app, with the kiosk providing an alternative enrolment method for those who cannot use the smartphone app.
17. Is there a timescale for ETA is coming in 2023?
ETA launches in 2023 and the customer will be required to enrol their facial biometric using a smartphone app. Once remote self-enrolment of fingerprints using a smartphone is deemed suitably mature, fingerprints will also be added to ETA. This is currently predicted to begin in 2025 at the earliest. We do not foresee rolling out self-service kiosks for ETA usage until the fingerprint smartphone app is operational, as ETA customers will not be required to enrol fingerprints until this time. However, self-service kiosks could be adopted for another non-VAC customer use case before 2025.
18. Is there any intent to expand the cohort to include visa applicants so they don't have to travel back to their home countries?
No, not at this stage. Those customers that are currently required to attend a VAC to enrol their biometrics will continue to do so. Self-enrolment enrolment options are being developed to cater for non-VAC customers.
19. Is the reading of Passport Chip information something you’re expecting to do during these trials and if so, how will we overcome the access challenges of this?
We want to do more with passports than we did during the JSaRC trials. We want the supplier to have the capability to read the face of the chip, to access the document and to perform validation of the document by performance Passive Authentication of the chip and checking against the Master List of trusted Travel Documents provided by the Home Office to ensure the document is not false i.e. that the chip matches the passport document and therefore the document is not a forgery alongside identifying any issues with the chip.
20. Does it make sense to test fingerprint enrolment on a high resolution 1000 dpi scanner adjacent to the kiosk with a 500 DPI scanner integrated?
500 ppi is the minimum standard. Anything above this standard will have to be considered in terms of practicality and cost effectiveness.
21. Can children’s fingerprints be seen on 500 DPI scanner?
We have already been collecting fingerprints from this age group on 500 ppi scanners for decades.
When it comes to accessibility and children’s fingerprints it’s unlikely to be the scanner that is the issue. It's more likely to be the positioning of the scanner i.e., the angle and height alongside the instructions and assistance provided. We will be interested in the ITT response as to how suppliers will deal with the issues of biometric capture for children.