DWP signs 'unacceptable' £420,000,000 contract

Chris Chant, at the Institute for Government, Thursday 20 October 2011:

I think it’s completely unacceptable at this point in time to enter into contracts for longer than 12 months. I can’t see how we can sit in a world of IT, and acknowledge the arrival of the iPad in the last two years, and yet somehow imagine that we can predict what we’re going to need to be doing in two or three or five or seven or ten years time. It’s complete nonsense.

Reported by Guardian Government Computing, Wednesday 2 November 2011:

The Department for Work and Pensions has awarded a seven year application services contract worth £50m to £70m annually to Accenture, for work including the software needed to introduce its universal credit system.

Or to phrase it another way: something between £50,000,000 and £70,000,000 each year – let’s split the difference, and call it £60,000,000 – for 7 years. A grand total of £420,000,000.