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Departments: ICT

Volume 461: debated on Wednesday 6 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the (a) originally estimated, (b) most recently estimated and (c) outturn cost was of the five largest information technology contracts agreed by his Department with outside suppliers over the last five years. (135684)

If I may refer to the answer provided in June 2006, PQ 4875 05/06. The updated figures are as follows:


(a) Original estimated cost—£34.10 million;

(b) Recently estimated costs—£68.05 million;

(c) Outturn costs—£68.05 million (plus enhancement work to the value of £928,000 in 2005-06 and £2.7 million in 2006-07.)

Support and maintenance costs are included in the original contract.


(a) Original estimated cost— £85 million per year;

(b) Recently estimated costs—£97.9 million per year;

(c) Outturn costs: 2004-05—£28.26 million; 2005-06—£111.12 million; 2006-07—£147.56 million.

The estimated costs are based on initial predicted demand for IBM services; the higher outturn costs represent the increased demand for IBM services by projects in delivering DEFRA’s strategic objectives. The contract with IBM incorporates sufficient flexibility to allow significant variation in demand, with costs varying directly in proportion.


(a) Original estimated cost—£16.10 million;

(b) Recently estimated costs—£18.42 million (total life time cost);

(c) Outturn costs—cost of supply was £6.7 million in 2002.

The balance is for support and maintenance to be paid over the remainder of the contract, which ends in 2014.

As with the previous answer, smaller local IT contracts will also have been agreed; however, information on these is neither managed nor maintained centrally, and therefore it would incur disproportionate costs to collate. Only by reference to such information would it be possible to determine which are the fourth and fifth largest IT contracts, agreed with outside suppliers, in the Department.