Customs blamed the increase on a vital part of its e-business programme. A spokesman for Customs told VNU News Centre that the additional costs would cover the building of electronic payment systems, as well as web-based case tracking systems.
‘When the initial contract was signed, contract change controls were put in place. Once the e-programme was developed, we were able to revise the contract to meet our needs,’ he said.
The initial 10 year IT infrastructure programme was signed with Fujitsu Services (then ICL) in 1999.
At the time, the deal was worth £680m. The subsequent changes take the value of the contract to £929m.
Customs and Excise did not draw up its e-business plan until June 2001.
This programme introduced such radical changes that it fell outside the remit of the original deal. Customs denied the changes could have been incorporated into the original deal.
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