PracticeAuditSpending watchdog slams bungled GCHQ move

Spending watchdog slams bungled GCHQ move

The government spying agency's move to new headquarters has increased tenfold as a result of an 'astonishing error' in the transfer of IT capabilities, according to the Commons Public Accounts Committee.

Link: Spy audit escapes qualification

The costs have been incurred in the GCHQ’s move from its 50 building HQ in Cheltenham to its new space age ‘doughnut’ building, also in Cheltenham.

The additional costs were incurred in the moving and updating of technology, which was initially estimated at £41m, but which have now risen to an astonishing £450m over the last two years, the FT reported.

Edward Leigh, chairman of the PAC, said it was astonishing that GCHQ did not ‘realise what would be involved much sooner’.

The Treasury has refused to fully fund this increase and the move is now working on a budget of £308m, with one of the original sites kept going for seven years longer than originally planned to fund the shortfall.

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