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Parliament's expenses body spent £2.2m on IT

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The newly minted Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority has spent £2.2m on IT to get itself up and running, a commons answer revealed yesterday.

Bob Russell MP asked what services Calyx UK provided to the authority and whether it had considered other suppliers.

Charles Walker, representing the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, relayed a letter from IPSA chief exec Andrew McDonald, which explained:

"The scope of the contract with Calyx UK Ltd and Calyx Managed Services Ltd covers infrastructure and enterprise software support.

"Infrastructure support includes server hardware, desktops and laptops, network hardware, office infrastructure, firewalls, anti-virus, web proxy and hosting services, Wide Area Network link, security solutions, email and telephony.

"Enterprise support includes software support for financial accounting, the online expense system, payroll, human resources and a relationship management system."

Apparently the tender was offered through OGC Buying Solutions, with three responses being received for the infrastructure contract, and three for the enterprise contract.

Up to 14 February, from its inception IPSA paid £2.22m to Calyx, McDonald said.

In January, IPSA said it had paid out more than £9m in MPs' expenses since the May election, and had "not reimbursed 2,000 claims with a collective value of £144,000".

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority was set up in the wake of the MPs' expenses scandal, to ensure transparency in the way payouts are handled. So now we know how much transparency costs. ®

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