This is a really stupid use for biometrics. What's wrong with a badge?
That provoked a flashback to my school days and being made to provide answers as to why round manhole covers are better than square. I would have thought anyone reading El Reg would be able to produce many compelling reasons why it's better than badges, could role play selling the fingerprint system as advantageous over badges.
People rarely misplace fingers, they tend to always be where they usually are, no one forgets to take them with them. Fingerprints don't really wear out, damaging them is usually self-rectifying, and losing fingers is hopefully rare. They can't be easily lent to others, they tend to come with the person and don't have to be created separately, and we usually carry around our own spares.
Thinking on how badges would be better than fingers: Being not so easy to slide up backsides avoids unexpected surprises and lawsuits. They can carry human readable information and can be checked without requiring technology. They probably make for better bookmarks if wanting to put a book down.