UK taxpayers to give £230 million to US firm

UK taxpayers to give £230 million to US firm

Mon Aug 18, 2014 9:12PM GMT

British government has been ordered to pay £230 million of taxpayers’ money to a US firm over a decision to cancel an immigration computer system contract.

The British Home Office was found by an arbitration court to have unlawfully terminated a contract with private US firm Raytheon, brought in to run its e-Borders program in 2007.

The e-Borders program was started by the Labour party in 2003 to reform border controls by recording all passengers traveling in and out of the country.

British Home Secretary Theresa May canceled the program a few weeks after taking office in 2010.

According to a statement released by the Home Office, the arbitration court ruled that the office had acted unlawfully.

It also said that officials at the now-disbanded UK Border Agency (UKBA) were at fault for failing to keep the Home Secretary informed about claims the UKBA had itself contributed to delays.

In a letter to Keith Vaz, chairman of the Commons’ home affairs select committee, the British Home Secretary said she would work with the Treasury in a bid to stop the pay-out damaging frontline services.

“This is a catastrophic result. Minister after minister and successive heads of the UKBA told the select committee that the government was the innocent party and that Raytheon had failed to deliver,” Vaz said.

He added, “It is now clear that the UKBA didn’t know what they wanted from the e-Borders program.”

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