The company will work on the design, feasibility testing, business case and procurement elements. As the project proceeds it will also be subject to regular Office of Government Commerce gateway reviews.
PA Consulting said it was chosen on a ‘value for money’ basis. Deloitte was also involved in the bidding process but PA came out on top.
Home secretary David Blunkett said: ‘This is an ambitious, long-term project which will be introduced incrementally over a number of years. We are determined to get it right, and bringing in expertise from outside government at this early stage will help us do that.’