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Siemens Grabs on to Outside Help to Fix Bulgaria ID System Glitches

Date: 16.04.2010

Siemens, the German manufacturer of the software and equipment of the new Bulgarian ID documents, will bring in outside experts to fix the glitches in its system, media reports say.

The German company has vowed to use all of its resources, and resort to outside expert help in order to rectify the problems in the software system it provided to the Bulgarian government, and to deliver all ID documents within the set deadline.

The software and equipment delivered by Siemens were supposed to allow the Bulgarian government to make a swift transition to the issuing of the much advertised IDs with biometric data, which are seen as crucial for Bulgaria's accession to the Schengen Agreement expected in 2011.

However, since its introduction on March 29, the Siemens software has crashed a number of times, causing public outrage as Bulgarian citizens have had to wait for days at endless lines at passport offices throughout the country.

In a statement to the media, Siemens acknowledges that its software does not work at full capacity and that the company “needs to optimize it in order to meet the high demand for new Bulgarian IDs.”

Bulgaria's Interior Ministry has also come up with a strategy for gradually improving the capacity of the software for issuing of the biometric IDs.

"We would like to thank the Interior Ministry for their good cooperation. High-ranking representatives of the company are involved in the project and are in close contact with Bulgaria's Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov,” Siemens officials state.

At the beginning of this week, the Bulgarian Interior Ministry demanded that the German company start issuing 9 000 IDs per day by April 15, and 12 000 by April 20.

According to Minister Tsvetanov, the German manufacturer has not received any money yet because the first payment is due 8 months after the system's launch.

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