HC Deb 18 March 1988 vol 129 cc687-8W
Mr. John Marshall

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster which companies were asked to tender for the supply of the integrated Office System for Ministers in his Department; on what basis they were selected; what assessment was made of the suitability of HM Systems to provide the service; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Butcher

A networked engagements management system was needed that could be met only by a bespoke software development. The Department was aware of the typical diary facilities available from a wide range of office automation suppliers and these fell far short of meeting the requirement.

The Department had previously used a particular software systems company to develop an earlier engagement management system. On the basis of that earlier successful implementation, a time and materials contract was placed with that company for the software development and hardware implementation. As part of the implementation, the software systems company had to take account of compatibility requirements. Additional facilities have subsequently been added to provide Ministers with an integrated office system.