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Departmental Computer Software

Volume 472: debated on Monday 25 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the source code copies of core application software used by his Department and its agencies and supplied by third parties are held in escrow. (186909)

It is a contractual requirement for the National Programme for Information Technology main suppliers to ensure all source code copies of core software supplied for the national programme systems and services, including that supplied by their subcontractors, are placed in escrow. Outside the National Programme, source code developed for the Department by third parties is held by the Department.

The core business application for the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, Sentinel, is supplied by Accenture and is held in escrow. For all other applications developed by third parties, the source code is supplied to the agency by the third party and held by the agency themselves.

Bespoke applications that are developed for the NHS Purchasing and Supplies Agency are normally held in escrow.