IBM has signed a £265m contract announced in May with the Identity and Passport Service to run the biometric database that will form part of the National Identity Register – and will sub-contract parts of the deal to Atos Origin and Sagem Securitie.
Atos Origin will provide integration and operations support for the conteact, while Sagem Securitie will provide biometric services and software.
"This contract will provide a secure database for storing facial and fingerprint images for the next generation of biometric passports and will support the delivery of the National Identity card," said James Hall, chief executive of the Identity and Passport Service.
The contract is for seven years, but contains an option to be extended to 10.
The database known as the National Biometric Identity Service (NBIS) will store photos and all 10 fingerprints of passport and identity card applicants from 2012.
The system will also replace the UK Border Agency's Immigration and Asylum Fingerprint Service, which holds similar data for visa applicants.
In a debate on ID cards earlier this week the Conservatives said they backed plans for biometric passports, though they believe the proposed National Identity Register holds too much information centrally.