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NPfIT legal bills revealed

19th January 2010

A parliamentary answer has shown that legal bills of nearly £40 million have been paid to two law companies to support the National Programme for IT in the health service

Pound Coins.

The answer came in response to a question by Conservative shadow health minister Stephen O'Brien about the amount spent in legal fees for drafting contracts for the NPfIT.

Health minister Mike O’Brien responded: "Between 1 April 2002 and 31 March 2009, the total fee paid to Allen & Overy amounted to £10,309,877 and to DLA Piper UK LLP £28,864,938, although Allen & Overy ceased to advise after 2006."

He added: "As part of the total sum for legal and commercial support relating to the national programme for information technology, monies paid to the legal firms in question include, among a range of things, fees for drafting contracts."

NHS Connecting for Health said data was not available for the period after March 2009. Stephen O'Brien told E-Health Insider that the figure spent on legal charges were only "the tip of the iceberg".

The Tories have said they intend to "halt and renegotiate" the contracts if they are elected this year.

E-Health Insider had reported in 2006 that Connecting for Health had run up £28.2 million in legal charges and that the DH's original budget for legal fees was £40 million.

 

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