HC Deb 12 June 1995 vol 261 c395W
Mr. Cohen

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what safeguards there are for(a) the public interest and (b) the individuals upon which information is kept, in the contracts with EDS in respect of Government data; what is the overall cost, estimated or actual, to the public purse of each of the contracts; what information his Department has of commissions paid in respect of these contracts; what increases in cost are allowable under the contracts; and if he will make a statement. [27570]

Sir George Young

There are two safeguards. The first is that the contract contains provisions obliging EDS to make all necessary arrangements to protect the privacy of personal information. The second is that contractors and their employees are subject, in the same way as Revenue employees, to the criminal sanctions—a fine, or imprisonment, or both—provided by section 182, of the Finance Act 1989, for unauthorised disclosure of personal tax information.

The contract with EDS for the Inland Revenue's IT requirements is one which provides cost savings to the Department in cash terms of £225 million at 1994–95 prices with estimated expenditure of £1,033 million over the life of the contract to 2003–4.

No commissions have been paid by the Inland Revenue in respect of the letting of the contracts to EDS.

Price increases are allowable on the manpower element in the contract, subject to a cap calculated in accordance with the average earnings index.