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New national identity cards

KOMIX handled a significant part of the project involving new national identity cards for citizens of the Czech Republic, issuance of which began in January 2012. The company was in charge of the design and implementation of the entire system’s software core, which ensures communication between several hundred issuance points at local authorities throughout the country, central registries and the STÁTNÍ TISKÁRNA CENIN (National Mint), the state-owned enterprise which centrally produces the identity cards.


Ministerstvo vnitra České republiky

The customer’s initial situation

The necessity of simpler communication between citizens and authorities as well as connection with the project involving central registries of the public administration called forth a change in the form of the Czech Republic’s national identity cards. The new, so-called electronic identity cards had to have the more efficient format of a credit card and contain a chip that would make it possible to record on the card an electronic signature and, in the near future, other permits (e.g. driving license and health-insurance card).

Due to organisational uncertainty, the project could begin only in August 2011, whereas issuance of the new national identity cards was scheduled to begin on 2 January 2012.

The customer, the Ministry of Interior of the Czech Republic, and its main supplier, STÁSTNÍ TISKÁRNA CENIN, s.p. (hereinafter referred to as “STC”), needed to build a system for issuing the new national identity cards, including the organisational infrastructure, issuance points in municipalities (a new aspect was, for example, the acquisition of applicants’ photographs when submitting the application), assurance of central production at the STC and development of a software application that would control this system. All of this had to be accomplished within approximately four months. An advantage was that, for the defined task, it would be possible to use existing infrastructure from the similar CDBP project (issuance of new passports with biometric elements).

Our approach – course of the project

KOMIX became involved in the project as a sub-contractor of ATOS IT Solutions and Services, s.r.o. – the main supplier of the STC. Whereas ATOS and its other sub-contractors ensured particularly the infrastructure and integration of the project, our task was to develop the actual core of the system – i.e. the appropriate software application. The fact that the supplier selected us for this task speaks volumes about the experience we gained from the previous, similar project involving the issuance of biometric passports (CDBP project), wherein we gained knowledge in the area of issuing permits and similar documents for citizens.

We managed to accomplish our task on time and in the required quality. During the process, we used the agile-programming method, including concentration of the entire implementation team in one location.

Result of the project – benefit for the customer

On the first working day of 2012, several hundred places throughout the Czech Republic began accepting and subsequently processing applications for issuance of new national identity cards. This event was noted in practically all media. The only aspect criticised was the long queues caused by the lengthy initial process (photographs were obtained mostly at the counters) as well as the deluge of people whose identity cards had expired at the end of the previous year and who obtained only a temporary document so that they could acquire a new identity card.

For the end-customer, the Ministry of Interior, the successful start of this project was one of the steps on the path to launching central registries, which was realised on 1 July 2012.

We helped ATOS, our immediate customer within the project, to fulfil a difficult task that had to be accomplished in a very short period of time.