Feeds

Accenture escapes £1bn penalty for NHS walk-out

It's 'been delivering'

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Accenture, the IT and consultancy firm has avoided huge penalty fees for withdrawing from the UK National Programme for IT (NPfIT).

Connecting for Health (CfH) said Accenture, which announced yesterday it is withdrawing from its £2bn contracts for the NPfIT will not have to pay up to 50 per cent of its total contract in compensation as stipulated in the contract. The IT and consultancy firm has been asked to pay just £63m compensation.

In March, director general for NHS IT Richard Granger, told a conference in Paris that any supplier struggling to deliver and who wanted to walk away would have to pay dearly for the "disruption" caused.

"If they would like to walk away, it's starting at 50 per cent of the total contract value," he said.

But yesterday he appeared to back track saying the cancellation fee would not be imposed on Accenture: "The £1bn figure (or 50 per cent of the contract value) is the maximum cancellation fee but Accenture has been delivering."

John Pugh, member of the Public Accounts Committee, told Kablenet today: "It is very worrying that Richard Granger has not issued any contract penalties even though he said he would.

"The Public Accounts Committee will want to look into why the terms of the contract were not enforced. It does suggest to me that the (departure of the IT firm) was not entirely Accenture's fault and that the government is also to blame."

Shadow health minister Stephen O'Brien has also called on the National Audit Office (NAO) to launch a full scale probe into the project.

"Yet again this (Accenture withdrawing) poses embarrassing questions for Patricia Hewitt about the future of the NPfIT. If Accenture are willing to cut their losses, that seriously undermines confidence in the whole programme."

The opposition parties are also questioning why the change of supplier was not put out to tender, which could be a breach of European laws.

Computer Science Corporation (CSC), which is already running the north west and west midlands clusters, will take over Accenture's east and north east regions making it the primary contractor from January.

Meanwhile, Accenture reported flat fourth-quarter figures, as its agreement to exit the NHS programme wiped out gains.

It unveiled revenues of $3.97bn (£2.12bn) in the three months to August 31, up from $3.92bn last time. Revenues would have been $4.31bn without the agreement, it said.

Any potential legal action from its sub contractor Isoft has also been squashed following the decision to hand over to CSC. Accenture had blamed Isoft for the delays.

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.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
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
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.