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Departmental Information and Communications Technology

Volume 481: debated on Monday 27 October 2008

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how much his Department spent on upgrading its IT in each of the last three financial years. (228421)

The Department has outsourced the provision and management of IT equipment and core IT services, through the ELGAR contract, to Fujitsu Services Ltd.

The ELGAR contract runs until the end of FY 2013-14. The contract is based on PFI and integral to the provision is the inclusion of regular technical refreshes of the IT estate, including hardware, software and networks.

Most IT spending in BERR is within the core and major services provided through the ELGAR contract, and these services have regular technical refreshes built into them. Depending on the nature of the IT service, refreshes occur every three or four years. Although this could be classified as upgrading the IT systems in BERR, it could also be considered as a necessary and planned means of keeping IT systems up to date, avoiding technical obsolescence.

It is not possible to extract definitive values for technical refreshes, because the nature of PFI contracts means that costs are recovered over the life of the service as regular unitary monthly service charges and not in specific years they were incurred.

Where IT spending occurs outside of the major ELGAR services, it would require the investigation and detailed analysis of many individual change requests to obtain a realistic figure. BERR consider that the considerable effort required to obtain this information is at disproportionate cost.