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Future Firecrest Programme

Volume 491: debated on Wednesday 22 April 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when his Department first assessed the feasibility of the project which became the Future Firecrest programme; and if he will make a statement. (268875)

Preliminary work to establish the need and identify a procurement strategy started in early 2002.

The initial business case was considered by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Board in May 2002. Following this and a review, in August 2002, by the Office of Government Commerce, a detailed examination of our requirements and the potential procurement options resulted in the presentation of a fully elaborated set of options in March 2003. On the basis of this, the project board approved the further development of the business case, recommending the procurement of a private sector strategic partnership. This business case was approved by the FCO Board and Ministers in July 2003.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when the contract with Hewlett-Packard to provide the Future Firecrest programme was signed. (268876)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when the Future Firecrest programme was initially scheduled for completion; and what the initial estimate of its cost was. (268877)

At initiation, the Future Firecrest programme was expected to complete in February 2012, and to cost £401 million.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when the Future Firecrest programme is scheduled for completion; and what his most recent estimate of the cost of the programme is. (268878)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many bidders his Department initially considered to supply its Future Firecrest programme. (268879)

From the list of companies registering a potential interest in response to the notice published in the official journal of the EU, five were invited to submit detailed proposals. Following evaluation of these, three bidders were shortlisted.