Computer Sciences Corporation

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 11th May 2011.

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Photo of Richard Bacon Richard Bacon Conservative, South Norfolk 11:30 am, 11th May 2011

What discussions he has had with the Minister for the Cabinet Office and the Secretary of State for Health on the performance of Computer Sciences Corporation in installing Lorenzo software within the national programme for IT in the NHS.

Photo of David Cameron David Cameron The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party

We are very concerned that the NHS IT projects that we inherited were of poor value for money, an issue we raised repeatedly in opposition. According to the National Audit Office, even in 2008, delivery of the care records system was likely to take four years more than planned. Since coming into government, we have reviewed the projects with the intention of making the best of what we have inherited. In part, as a result of our work, the Government have cut £1.3 billion from the cost of the national programme for IT in the NHS, including planned savings of at least £500 million from Computer Sciences Corporation.

Photo of Richard Bacon Richard Bacon Conservative, South Norfolk

Does the Prime Minister agree that the NHS IT programme will never deliver its early promise, that in particular CSC has failed with Lorenzo and that, rather than squandering £4.7 billion that is still unspent, the solution is to negotiate a way forward that frees up billions of pounds for the benefit of patients?

Photo of David Cameron David Cameron The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party

I agree with my hon. Friend that we are absolutely determined to achieve better value for money. Let me reassure him that there are no plans to sign any new contract with Computer Sciences Corporation until the National Audit Office report has been reviewed and until the Public Accounts Committee meetings and the Major Projects Authority reviews have taken place. The Department of Health and the Cabinet Office will examine all the available options under the current contract, including the option of terminating some of, or indeed all of, the contract.