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Fire Services

Volume 465: debated on Thursday 25 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what delays have occurred in meeting (a) milestones and (b) targets in relation to the Firelink contract. (157672)

The Firelink contract was let in March 2006. Achievement of the first four milestones has been delayed. Milestone 1, relating to production of detailed plans and designs by the contractor, was achieved in March 2007, six months later than originally planned. This was largely due to the need to ensure the contractor's basis for project implementation was robust, and had the support of the Fire and Rescue Service. Sign off of Milestones 2-4, which relate to the installation of the network infrastructure is currently being withheld to ensure that the contractor’s proposed schedule for implementation is realistic. There are no other overdue Milestones at present. The overall target date for completion of Firelink with voice functionality is 2009, and this remains unchanged since contract signature; and as each brigade migrates to their regional control centre they will obtain full functionality including data transmission.