Footnotes made by the Lord Chancellor's
Department to its evidence of 23 July 2002
Question 50legal aid volume and budget:
"In 2000--1, in the Crown Court, 116,000
people were assisted at a cost of £422 million, against 115,000
people in 2001-02 at a cost of £474 million.
Caution should be exercised in comparing work
volume across the different categories of criminal legal aid (excluding
Crown Court work) because of changes in work measurement following
the introduction of contracting.
The number of attendances claimed at police
stations, either in person or by telephone, fell from 760,495
in 2000-01 to 700,294 in 2001-02. The number of claims under representation
orders in the magistrates' courts rose from 467,632 to 598,220.
The figures for 2000-01 are higher than would normally be expected
because of claims being submitted early prior to the commencement
of contracting. Expenditure in these areas rose from £450
million in 2000-01 to £508 million in 2001-02.
In civil and family matters there were 1.1m
acts of assistance in 2000-01 at a cost of £792 million,
compared to 1m acts of assistance in 2001-02 at a cost of £734
million. The decrease was brought about as a result of the 1999
scope changes and from tightening the merits test."
Question 92name of legal case on manifestly
unfounded asylum applications:
"Zenovics, R (on the application of) v
The Secretary of State for the Home Department, 7 March 2002 
EWCA Civ 273, Case number: C/01/1433".
Question 100Libratext of written
House of Commons Parliamentary Answer of 24/7/02 (Hansard Column
Jim Knight MP asked the Parliamentary Secretary,
Lord Chancellor's Department "if she will make a statement
on the progress of discussions between the Lord Chancellor's Department
and Fujitsu Services on the Libra project to provide IT services
for the magistrates' courts in England and Wales."
In response Yvette Cooper, Parliamentary Secretary,
Lord Chancellor's Department answered that:
"There are two parts to the Libra project:
the provision of a modern IT infrastructure and network to link
the magistrates' courts with other parts of the criminal justice
system and the special software for case management, accounting
and other administration within the courts. Installation of the
infrastructure and network is 75% complete and will be completed
during the first half of 2003. The specialised software has been
The Department has now signed a variation to
the contract with Fujitsu Services (formerly known as ICL) in
respect of the Libra project.
Under these new arrangements, Fujitsu Services
will continue to deliver the IT infrastructure and network and
provide support until March 2007.
However, the Department has decided that Fujitsu
Services will not be required to continue with the development
of the specialised software for case management, accounting and
other administration. Serious concerns arose last year when delays
in delivery of the software and increases in their costs led Fujitsu
Services to seek to renegotiate the contract. As many courts and
offices had already been equipped with the IT infrastructure,
a basis for renegotiation was agreed. Despite intensive negotiation
however, it has not proved possible to reach an agreement on the
specialised software at an acceptable price, which will deliver
value for money for the taxpayer.
Instead, the Department will procure application
services separately. Assessments show that robust, tried and tested
software, is now available in the marketplace, which could meet
requirements at a lower cost than that on offer from Fujitsu Services.
The original 1998 contract was valued at £183
million to run until July 2009. A variation to this was signed
with Fujitsu/ICL in 2000, which was valued at £319 million
and was to run until 2013. This was not a real price increase
as the extra cost was for the extra years and other benefits.
In each case the contract with Fujitsu Services was for the delivery
of both the infrastructure and the specialised software.
The estimated value of the revised contract
with Fujitsu Services is £232 million which includes some
£31 million paid under the existing contract from 2000 to
the end of June 2002 for the delivery and operation of the infrastructure
services received by the magistrates' courts. In addition, the
Government has paid Fujitsu Services £6.8 million for design
products produced as part of the software application development
that can be reused. Apart from this amount, the financial and
management risks of developing the software have been borne by
A number of studies have been carried out by
external organisations to provide assurances on the way forward,
including a benchmark exercise on the infrastructure costs and
an assessment of the costs, timescales and market capacity to
deliver the software application services.
The benchmarking exercise shows that the cost
of the provision of the infrastructure service in the revised
contract is in line with the cost of similar services provided
to organisations of similar size, structure and complexity in
the private and public sectors. It is possible, but by no means
certain, that a new competitive procurement could deliver the
services for less cost, but the Department's assessment of the
costs of delays and procurement and completing the implementation
of the service to all courts, shows that the revised contract
provides best value for money to the taxpayer.
The studies on the software application services
indicate that the services can be delivered by the end of 2004a
delay of nine months on the original 1998 contractand at
a price that will be affordable and provide value for money. The
Department is planning on this basis. However, these services
will be subject to new procurements and the House will be informed
of the outcome when the procurements have been completed.
There are lessons to be learned for all parties
from the project. Since the original award of contract a range
of government guidelines on managing IT contracts and PFI/PPP
contracts has been issued. These have been fully utilised in the
recent negotiation. Improvements introduced on Libra in the last
12 months include strengthening of the Governance arrangements,
better risk management, the use of external benchmarking and an
external review under the Gateway process. This has provided more
effective controls for the negotiations and future plans. The
new arrangement separates the delivery of the infrastructure from
the application which is designed to better ensure the success
of the overall programme and at the same time place appropriate
risk with the respective providers and the Department."