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IT Projects

Volume 451: debated on Tuesday 7 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many and what percentage of information technology projects undertaken by or for her Department since 2001 have been delivered (a) over budget, (b) after their original deadline, (c) on budget, (d) under budget, (e) on their original deadline and (f) ahead of their original deadline. (98594)

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office operates a devolved system of financial responsibility under which Directorates and overseas posts have the freedom to invest in non strategic IT systems designed to meet specific needs. Answers to the hon. Member’s question would require exhaustive searches of records in the UK and overseas, and this could be achieved only at disproportionate cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much her Department has spent on (a) equipment and (b) consultants for (i) information technology and (ii) web-facing information technology projects in each year since 2001. (98597)

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) undertakes a very wide range of IT-enabled projects. Strategic projects are managed centrally, but many others are delivered under a devolved system of financial responsibility under which Directorates and overseas posts have the freedom, subject to conformity with FCO technical standards and the need to demonstrate effective use of public funds, to invest in non-strategic IT systems designed to meet specific needs. FCO accounting practice does not make a distinction between expenditure on “information technology” and “web-facing information technology”. It is not possible to provide a complete answer without incurring disproportionate cost.