On current projections the Home Office’s (the Department’s) e-Borders programme and its successors will cost over a billion pounds, be delivered 8 years late and not provide the benefits expected for transport carriers and passengers. A major reason for this delay was the termination by the Department in 2010 of its e-Borders contract with Raytheon. This had required Raytheon to deliver its own solution to meet the Department’s objectives to a fixed price and timescale which turned out to be unrealistic as government had detailed and evolving requirements, and wanted high assurance that the proposed solution would work. The Department was emphatic that our borders are secure. However, the Department needs to accept that its assertion that it checks 100% of passports is both imprecise and unrealistic due to the complexity of our border. It is now five years since the e-Borders contract was cancelled yet the capabilities delivered so far still fall short of what was originally envisaged. Since 2010 the Major Projects Authority has issued seven warnings about these programmes. The Department’s complacency about progress to date increases our concerns about whether the programme will be completed by 2019 as the Department now promises, and whether tangible benefits for border security, transport carriers and passengers will result.
Prepared 1 March 2016