HC Deb 12 January 2004 vol 416 cc541-2W
Mr. Sayeed

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list information technology contracts in his Department with a value of above £20 million in each of the last 10 years; what the inception date for each system was; when it became fully functional; when it became fully debugged: and what the cost of over-runs has been. [146197]

Mr. Pearson

Only one contract of this size has been awarded within the Northern Ireland administration during the past 10 years.

In May 1998 the then Training and Employment Agency—an Agency within the then Department of Economic Development signed a 10 year PFI contract with ICL (now Fujitsu Services) for the provision of all IT hardware, data communication networks, office productivity software and Internet access for the former Agency. Additionally, the contract required the provision of two systems namely the Client Management System (CMS) and Trainee Management System (TMS).

Following the formation of the Northern Ireland Assembly and its constituent Departments the contract was extended to cover the increased number of staff in the newly formed Department of Higher and Further Education Training and Employment now the Department for Employment and Learning.

The hardware and office productivity software became fully functional in November 1998 on schedule, CMS went live on schedule in March 1999 and TMS became functional on 25 March 2002 some three months behind schedule.

There were no over-run costs and no major bugs needing remedial action.