US supplier Raytheon Systems, the lead supplier in the UK’s £750 million electronic border security scheme, has been sacked by the government after taking too long to complete certain parts of the project.
In a statement released today, the government said it had “no confidence” in the the vendor’s ability to deliver the e-Borders project. Specifically, it said that Raytheon had been in breach of its contract since July last year after it missed important milestones in the project’s development. A new supplier is now being sought “as a matter of urgency".
The e-Borders programme is intended to electronically track the movements of individuals in and out of the UK and identify potential criminal suspects by cross-checking against police records.
“It has been clear for some time that the way the existing programme was developing gave rise to serious concern,” said UK Immigration Minister Damian Green on Thursday.
“Over recent weeks we have been examining progress and it has been extremely disappointing. While some elements have been delivered, they have not been delivered on time. Delivery of the next critical parts of the programme are already running at least 12 months late.”
While instigated by the then Labour government three years ago, e-Borders has enjoyed cross-party endorsement, with the current Downing Street coalition keen on the project being completed, which it says has so far only cost £188 million.
The e-Borders programme is currently due for completion in 2014.