Algeria plans to make biometric ID cards the centrepiece of an identity administration overhaul, according to senior officials.Speaking in Algiers, Minister of Interior and Local Communities Nouredine Bedoui said that the biometric ID cards were key to a modernisation of the public administration system.The upcoming launch of a national biometric ID card “is only the beginning of an operation aiming at modernizing the Algerian administration and avoiding needless bureaucracy”.Bedou added that nationwide distribution and usage of the card will contribute to promote the relation of the citizens with the various institutions of the State, as part of eGovernment.The document will be issued from a national biometric centre currently being built in the in the province of Laghouat.In August, officials confirmed that digital security firm Gemalto had won the contract for the production of biometric identity cards in Algeria.”Gemalto was selected for the acquisition of the body of the pre-personalized card and application of national biometric and electronic identity card (CNIBE)”, explained the minister of the interior, indicating that the contract value is €17 million.The Franco-Dutch group was chosen following the second bid process started last March.A first call for tenders launched in December 2014 was unsuccessful.