PA Consulting bill for ID cards to bust £18m estimate

PA Consulting bill for ID cards to bust £18m estimateThe Home Office has
conceded that the estimates for development work by PA consulting on the
government’s controversial ID card scheme is set to bust its £18.74m forecast.

The department’s admission came after Accountancy Age’s sister publication

Management Consultancy revealed that £12m of taxpayer’s money has already
been spent on PA out of a total spend so far of £17m.

PA estimated the development and procurement phases of the project would

cost almost £19m during the length of the two-year deal.

However, the Home Office confirmed it was ‘likely to exceed the estimates

quoted as part of the competitive bidding process’.

The estimated costs of the project were produced against an ‘indicative

scope of work based on requirements in March 2004, which have developed
over time’, according to a Home Office spokesman. ‘These costs have never
been treated by the Home Office as the “contract value”, so the contract
cannot “overrun”.’

The scheme has continually been shrouded in controversy. Last year, Deloitte
was reported to be battling against PA to win the two-year contract, despite
providing consultants to the Home Office in the risk-assessment phase of the ID
cards scheme.

MPs and civil rights campaigners slammed Deloitte’s alleged involvement in
the tender as a ‘clear conflict of interest’. Deloitte has refused to comment on
whether it was shortlisted for the contract.

Information disclosed to Management Consultancy under the Freedom of
Information Act showed the ‘average daily cost for each consultant on the
programme was £1,093′. It was also disclosed that at least 62 consultants
are working alongside 43 civil servants and one secondee. PA Consulting is

working on design, feasibilty, and procurement for the Home Office. The
firm refused to comment.

Related reading