Feeds

Accenture denies responsibility for payments failure

'Component in the jigsaw, but not the whole picture'

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

The consultancy and technology firm told MPs that it was not responsible for the failure of the Rural Payments Agency to deliver subsidies to farmers on time.

Less than half of the £1.5bn subsidies owed to farmers under the Single Payment Scheme (SPS) had been paid by the April deadline.

In a three hour grilling by the Environment Food and Rural Affairs sub-committee on 22 May, Accenture director Peter Holmes insisted Accenture had "fulfilled specifications outlined in the fixed term, fixed price contract".

He said the company was not responsible for "other components in the system". Accenture chiefs told MPs, the 'Rita' IT system was a key component in a jigsaw that enables payment - but was not the whole picture.

Holmes told MPs the failure to pay the subsidies was down to "business processes".

"Our contract was to deliver a system that met a specification and to demonstrate that the system met that specification, which it did."

Accenture said 'Rita', had been up and running since October 2005. But the committee criticised the lack of live testing of the Accenture system.

The committee also argued the system had "gummed up" when confronted with volumes of land changes and an unexpected increase in customers.

Accenture director Sean Shine said the volume of land changes were up to "11 times the original expectation".

Rural Payments Agency staff had to validate land details sent by farmers, which led to the payment failures.

MPs also heard how Accenture, despite holding the largest IT contract that had jumped from the original £34m to a renegotiated £54m, had not been involved in any policy change discussions following the announcement of Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reforms.

Committee chair, Conservative MP Michael Jack, said he was shocked by the revelation, he said: "Accenture provided the engine for delivering the system but had no idea what was going on in the outside world. That is unbelievable."

This article was originally published at Kablenet.

Kablenet's GC weekly is a free email newsletter covering the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. To register click here.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data
European corps can't afford to get complacent while American Big Biz battles Uncle Sam
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.