Select Committee on Work and Pensions Minutes of Evidence

Letter to the Chairman of the Committee from the Chief Executive of the Child Support Agency (CS 03)

  When I came to speak to the Committee on 22 May I offered to provide further information in two main areas.

  The first of these concerned the structure of our contract with EDS with particular reference to potential penalties for late delivery. You will appreciate, and Vince Gaskell made the point at the committee hearing, that this is commercially sensitive and information is therefore confidential. I attach as Annex A a note drafted by Vince Gaskell providing the background information required.

  The annex gives a summary of the main provisions within the contractual framework with EDS. However the key questions the Committee were seeking answers to in relation to the contract and the recent delays to the completion of testing were:

    —  whether there is provision within the contract to pay additional sums to EDS arising out of increased costs to them if the delay is their fault;

    —  whether there is provision within the contract to seek to recover, from EDS, any increased costs incurred by the Department as a result of the delay if it is entirely the fault of EDS.

  If the cause of delay is entirely due to EDS there is provision for the Department to seek to recover its estimated increased costs (liquidated damages). There is no provision for EDS to seek to recover their increased costs directly attributable to the delay, if the delay is entirely their fault.

  The second area concerned delays in our enforcement process. A note is attached as Annex B.

  I hope this is helpful.

Doug Smith

June 2002

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