The Inquirer-Home

UK government must pay over £224m for e-borders failure

Raytheon gains from borders booboo bounty
Tue Aug 19 2014, 09:14
The UK government will pay out £224m to Raytheon over a failed e-borders system

THE UK GOVERNMENT has been told to hand over £224m to defence company Raytheon for the failed, controversial e-borders project.

The government has a tricky relationship with technology projects and more often than not they end as failures.

This time it has to pay £224m because it fired Raytheon during the delivery of an e-borders system. Raytheon said it is happy with the result.

In a statement Raytheon said that the court found that the work contract was cancelled unlawfully, and that therefore it deserves to be paid.

"The Tribunal awarded to Raytheon Systems Ltd [RSL] damages and other monetary relief of approximately £185m," it said.

"It also found that the Home Office had wrongfully retained the £50m it had drawn on RSL letters of credit in April 2011. The Tribunal reserved ruling on costs and on the quantification of interest payable to RSL."

When the Home Office was talking about the e-borders project, in 2012, it was loudly complaining about the fact that it was not ready.

"The e-borders programme which has resulted in the loss of millions of pounds of taxpayers' money highlights the need for procurement to be carried out correctly and to include clear goals for private sector companies," said Keith Vaz, MP in a statement at the time.

"It remains a huge disappointment that e-borders is not fully in place in time for the Olympics."

The e-borders project was launched in 2003.Today, the Home Office replied to the INQUIRER's request for comment with a lengthy statement that stands by its decision.

"The Government stands by the decision to end the e-Borders contract with Raytheon. The situation we inherited in 2010 was a mess. Key milestones had been missed and parts of the programme were running at least a year late. The contract, signed in 2007, had already cost the taxpayer £259.3 million and yet wasn't delivering," said Minister for Immigration and Security, James Brokenshire.

"We are considering further legal options in the light of the arbitration decision. What is clear though, is that all other alternatives available to the Home Office would have led to greater costs than the result of the Tribunal's decision." µ


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