MoD to spend £48m on new IT after blunders

Suzie Neuwirth
THE GOVERNMENT yesterday confirmed that it will be paying Capita £47.7m to produce a new IT platform for the Army to recruit online, despite the outsourcing firm’s troubles with running the existing programme.

This is the latest high-profile gaffe to rock the Ministry of Defence, which was lambasted by the Commons defence committee yesterday for not doing enough to prevent staff shortages in the Armed Forces.

The Army awarded Capita a £440m contract in March 2012 to build a new IT recruitment system, which was due to be operational by March 2013. But completion of the £1.3bn project has been delayed due to issues integrating the system with an existing platform.

Defence secretary Philip Hammond said £15.5m has been wasted on the failed system. The new system is set to be deployed in February 2015, with an interim solution costing £1m a month.

“In December last year we acknowledged a number of problems with the Army and Capita recruitment partnership,” said an MoD spokesperson.

Capita said it “is actively supporting the Army to ensure its IT systems, both short-term and long-term, meet the needs of this complex project”.

Meanwhile, Transport for London said Capita has won back the £145m contract to run the congestion charge, five years after losing it to IBM and 11 years after helping to launch the levy.