At the crossroads: CSC’s turbulent relationship with Whitehall
by Rupert Hodgson, sourcingfocus.com
CSC has enjoyed mixed fortunes in its recent history with the UK public sector. CSC’s relationship with the government has been erratic, from being attacked in the commons, to winning new contracts
while still experiencing fallout from past failures.
Today employees from CSC belonging to the union Unite took to the streets in protest against redundancies from the UK government’s cancelation of CSC’s NHS IT project. The protest today is just the latest in a long line of negative stories stemming from CSC’s patient records project with the NHS.
While 500 staff face layoffs from the failure of one project, CSC have won a new £400 million contract to provide back office services with the Ministry of Defence. Other recent successes included the renewing of large numbers of extensive contracts with high profile companies including Transport for London, John Hancock Financial Services and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Despite the negative news today surrounding job cuts as the result of the damaging failure of the NHS project, CSC had announced only earlier in the week of its success in winning the MoD contract. The move was met by surprise from many, including analysts, because of the history of the NHS contract. CSC have now moved into final negations in order to finalise the contract which is expected to be completed by mid-May. The company successful bid for the MoD contact against HP Enterprise Services, who had expected by many to win the contract,
The results of the NHS project had seen CSC widely condemned throughout Whitehall. The chair of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Margaret Hodge had only recently attacked the company in failing to provide “functional” software to the NHS. The recent news of the MoD contract attracted further criticism of CSC from the PAC, with MP Richard Bacon, saying “In my opinion it is regrettable that CSC has been awarded more government work,” in an interview with Computerworld UK.
The huge failure of CSC’s NHS project been highly costly for the company and has attracted many detractors from within Whitehall, however it is apparent that CSC has proved itself in many other business arenas, winning extensions on contracts and implementing programs successfully within the UK. The company has enjoyed increased growth with new business awards totalling $4.1 billion, up from $2.3 billion a year earlier. The MoD awarded the contract to CSC due to its ability to meet the stipulations of the programme at a competitive cost.
CSC has come to a crossroads in its turbulent relationship with the UK government. In winning the MoD contact, CSC now faces irrevocably destroying their public sector business prospects in the UK if it fails to deliver on the project, or win the opportunity to erase their past public sector failings, by delivering the project successfully.