MPs' fury over £1m payout to Vodafone and Fujitsu for bungled tender process

Mail Online | 7/19/2019 | James Tapsfield, Political Editor, For Mailonline
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Taxpayers have handed around a million pounds to Vodafone and Fujitsu for 'nothing' after the government bungled a tender process.

Senior MPs voiced fury at the huge bill, which was incurred after firms protested about errors in awarding a £90million contract to provide 'global connectivity' to the Foreign Office, International Development department and British Council.

MailOnline - Situation - Cash - Dozens - Nurses

They told MailOnline the situation was 'incredible' and pointed out the cash could have paid for dozens of nurses.

Vodafone was awarded the seven-year deal in November last year. It then began working on providing the service.

Fujitsu - Foreign - Office - Process - Court

However, Fujitsu threatened to take the Foreign Office - which ran the process - to court for getting its sums wrong.

According to the latest accounts for the department - headed by Tory leadership hopeful Jeremy Hunt - after the claim was lodged officials discovered 'there were flaws in the normalisation of two of the bids during the financial evaluation'.

Result - Foreign - Office - £740 - Vodafone

As a result, the Foreign Office agreed to pay out £740,000 to Vodafone for its costs.

Another sum was paid to Fujitsu to cover its legal bill. The department declined to say how much - but the paperwork suggest it was hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Accounts - 'The - FCO - Requirements - Evaluation

The accounts stated: 'The FCO considered that the technical requirements were clear and that the evaluation was correct.

'However, it accepted that a Court could have decided differently after a lengthy and costly trial.

FCO - Benefit - Procurement - Contract - Bidder

'The FCO considered that there was benefit (to the procurement and the ultimate contract with the winning bidder) in ensuring that its requirements were completely clear.

'In addition, given the time since commencement of the procurement, the Authority considered that it would now be sensible to take advantage of technological developments which were not previously included.

FCO - Contract - Option - Procedure

'The FCO therefore decided not to award a contract and considered that the fairest and most proportionate option was to initiate a new procedure.

(Excerpt) Read more at: Mail Online
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