The NHS has failed to inform the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of a £200 million advance payment to IT services provider CSC, drawing examination from Tory MP Richard Bacon.
In a letter to David Nicholson, the chief executive of the NHS, Bacon called the failure to disclose the £200 million payment to the PAC a "very serious matter".
"Making advance payments of any kind at all is wholly at variance with the Department of Health’s long-stated boast that the NPfIT contracts ‘only pay for delivery’," said the letter from Bacon, a member of the PAC. "I understand that the advance payment of £200 million to CSC was made in April 2011 but the Department of Health’s memo of 7 June 2011 doesn’t mention it."
No mention of the payment was made in a PAC hearing in May this year. Evidence of the £200 million payment comes from CSC’s regulatory filing with the US Securities and Exchange commission.
"On April 1, 2011…NHS made an advance payment to the Company [CSC] of £200 million…related to the forecasted charges expected by the Company during fiscal year 2012," the CSC filing says, adding that CSC could be required to repay the advance "upon NHS demand on September 30, 2011".
Information Age was awaiting comment from the Department of Health as this story was published.