Conservative MP Richard Bacon, a member of the Public Accounts Committee, has asked Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office, to consider an inquiry into a Siemens passport IT contract that cost £265m more than expected.
The extra spend with Siemens is exacerbated by the Home Office's apparent unwillingness to explain why a contract that was due to cost £80-£100m ended up costing £365m.
After the Home Office's press officer Andrew Bell politely declined to answer any of my questions on the Siemens contract I sent a note to Bacon who passed it onto Amyas Morse.
Bacon said to Morse: "I wondered if the NAO might consider looking at the Siemens contract for the IT infrastructure for the passport service? The Home Office appears to see relatively little need to justify the fact that an £80-100 million contract with Siemens actually cost £365 million."
Bacon also pointed out that CSC took over from Siemens in 2009. CSC has about £3bn worth of contracts under the failed NHS National Programme for IT, NPfIT.
As Gateway reviews are not published, Parliament has no certain way of knowing whether the Identity and Passport Service's £385m 10-year contract with CSC is deviating from the planned budget, scope or timetable. An investigation by the NAO would shed light on the Siemens and CSC contracts.
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