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Departmental IT Projects

Mr. Field: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the IT projects his Department plans to undertake in the next year; and if he will state in each case the (a) expected date of commencement and completion and (b) cost. [151479]

Mr. Straw [holding answer 26 February 2001]: The new information technology (IT) projects that are being undertaken in this calendar year within my Department and its agencies (excluding non-departmental public bodies) are listed in the table. The information in the table covers those IT projects where (a) the cost or value of the project exceeds £5 million or (b) the project is essential for the delivery of our core objectives or services. I also refer my right hon. Friend to the answer to him on the IT projects currently undertaken by my Department given on 6 March 2001, Official Report, column 130W, and the reply to the hon. Member for Southwark, North and Bermondsey (Mr. Hughes) on 30 January 2001, Official Report, column 165W.

In addition to the projects listed in the table, the Fire Service College is undertaking a number of modernising projects in the current year addressing the shortcomings of the existing software applications. These projects are essential to the delivery of their business. They include an accounting system, library upgrade and a management system to upgrade the teaching facilities. The projects will be started and concluded in 2001 at an estimated total cost of £155,000.

The Prison Service Quantum project is planning future work packages in the development of a strategy for an IT-based business change on a partnership basis. Future work packages are still in the planning stage although it is likely that the user specification for at least one of these will be developed in the forthcoming financial year.

The Forensic Science Service is considering replacing their current work management system with an enhanced system based upon an enterprise resource planning model. The project will need approval by the Forensic Science Service Board once contract negotiation on time scales and cost have been finalised.

The Home Office Sirius programme has identified a number of initial business change projects in the areas of finance, personnel and communications for the current year but these are presently at the scoping stage.

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IT projects being undertaken in the current calender year 2001

IT projectDate/Expected date of commencement Expected date of completionCost (as per approved proposal) Comments
Probation Service--Phase 1 Contract Procurement Project 15 January 200131 January 2002Approximately £600,000
Probation Service--Phase 2 Contract Procurement ProjectLate 200131 January 2004Dependent upon options selectedBecause this project has not yet been initiated it is impossible to give any details about costs
Probation Service--Offenders Assessment System (OASys)--joint prison/probation offender assessment system. Probation elementApril 2001Dependent on technical option selected. Earliest date April 2002Dependent on technical option selected.Business case to be completed March 2001.

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Asylum Claimants System (Siemens)

Mr. Field: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the (a) payments made since 1996 and (b) payments due to be made, by his Department to Siemens for the caseworking system for asylum claimants. [151482]

Mrs. Roche: The contract between the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) of the Home Office and Siemens Business Services (SBS) contains a complex charging mechanism, details of which are commercially

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confidential. Elements include a productivity-related charge linked to the achievement of reductions in the unit cost of all IND's caseworking activities (not merely of asylum casework) and a fixed monthly charge for a range of technical services specified in the contract. By the end of the current financial year, we would expect to have paid SBS about £25 million in total since the contract began in 1996. The basis of future payments is under discussion with SBS following the joint decision to discontinue the development of the full casework application.