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Home Office: Interception Modernisation Programme

Volume 703: debated on Tuesday 8 July 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What are the aims of the Home Office's interception modernisation programme. [HL4465]

The objective of the interception modernisation programme (IMP) is to maintain the UK's lawful intercept and communications data capabilities in the changing communications environment. It is a cross-government programme, led by the Home Office, to ensure that our capability to lawfully intercept and exploit data when fighting crime and terrorism is not lost. It was established in response to my right honourable friend the Prime Minister's national security remit in 2006.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the current Comprehensive Spending Review allocation contains any financing for the Home Office's interception modernisation programme; and, if so, how much. [HL4466]

As part of the Government's Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR 07) a central bid was made to HM Treasury on behalf of the security and intelligence agencies. Funding for IMP was included in the bid, and the exact programme allocation across the CSR years is currently being finalised between the Home Office and HM Treasury.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What are the Home Office's current budgetary estimates for demonstrating the feasibility of the interception modernisation programme. [HL4467]

A significant proportion of the programme investment over the CSR period will be used to test feasibility and reduce the risk associated with implementing the proposed IMP solution. The private sector is likely to play a major role in this work and the programme will be conducting a competitive tender and entering commercial negotiations to commission its services.

The tendering processes are not yet complete and therefore the budget for the feasibility and de-risking activities is not finalised. For this reason, a precise figure cannot be given at this time.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What are the Home Office's current budgetary estimates for the interception modernisation programme. [HL4468]

The interception modernisation programme (IMP) will require a substantial level of investment which will need to tie in with the Government's three-year CSR periods. The scale of overall economic investment is very difficult to calculate because of the complexity of the project and wide-ranging implementation solutions currently being considered.

Given this complexity and the commercial and national security sensitivities, the precise costs of the programme cannot be disclosed. Further detail on budgetary estimates for the IMP will, however, become available once the draft Communications Data Bill is published.