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Post Office Card Account

Volume 487: debated on Tuesday 10 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will estimate the cost to his Department, excluding claims for compensation, of the tendering and bidding process for the Post Office card account. (241202)

It is not possible to give the full costs incurred by DWP on the procurement exercise. The direct salary costs (including on-costs) of the staff who worked full-time on this exercise, which extended over a 22 month period, were some £700,000. Some of these costs would have been incurred in any event to put in place a new contract with the Post Office had it been decided originally that it should be renewed. In addition, a number of other staff contributed to the procurement process alongside their other duties.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with reference to the answer of 19 November 2008, Official Report, columns 561-62W, on the Post Office card account, if he will take steps to make the best possible estimate of the cost to his Department of the tendering and bidding process for the Post Office card account; and what information his Department holds on the costs of the processes. (241316)

I wrote to the hon. Member on 9 December 2008. As I said in my letter, it is not possible to give the full costs incurred by DWP on the procurement exercise. The direct salary costs (including on-costs) of the staff who worked full-time on this exercise, which extended over a 22-month period, were some £700,000. Some of these costs would have been incurred in any event to put in place a new contract with the Post Office had it been decided originally that it should be renewed. In addition, a number of other staff contributed to the procurement process alongside their other duties.