Feeds

iSoft's £82m City sweetener

Public money paid to private firm

Website security in corporate America

iSoft Plc, the beleaguered NHS software provider, has been given two large chunks of cash totalling close to £82m over the last two years, the government has admitted.

An initial payment of £58m was made at the end of April 2005 with a further £23.8m paid out in April this year - just days before the company's financial year drew to a close.

The government bail out helped Manchester-based iSoft secure a its position with the City despite its ongoing troubles, according to a report in The Guardian.

Conservative MP Richard Bacon wrote to health secretary Patricia Hewitt on 9 August requesting details of any advance payments made to iSoft by NHS Connecting for Health. In a written response dated 5 September, Hewitt said: "The Department [of Health] agreed to make advance payments in April 2005 and April 2006 against the charges payable by NHS trusts to iSoft."

She goes on to confirm that iSoft had paid back £37.9m by the end of July this year - leaving an outstanding deficit of £43.9m.

"There has been no indication from iSoft that the advance payments made by the Department of Health (DoH) are the subject of the suspected accounting irregularities that the iSoft Board are investigating," Hewitt said.

The "accounting irregularities" she refers to relate to an audit for 2004 and 2005, which the Financial Services Authority had been investigating.

Hewitt also said that NHS Connecting for Health - acting on behalf of the DoH - has full financial audit rights to inspect iSoft's bank account at any time.

In response, Bacon put the question to The Guardian: "What good reason could there possibly be for what looks like another giant free public subsidy to a failing company?"

As one of the biggest IT projects in the world, iSoft will be looking to turn its bad fortune around, but the NHS may yet be the victim of its bad health. ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
OECD lashes out at tax avoiding globocorps' location-flipping antics
You hear that, Amazon, Google, Microsoft et al?
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.