Cost of Criminal Records Bureau spirals

The cost of vetting applications by the Criminal Records Bureau
has risen by £150 million, it has been revealed in an evidence
session of the House of Commons public accounts committee,
writes Natasha Salari.

Capita, the firm responsible for running the Criminal Records
Bureau on behalf of the Home Office, originally submitted a bid of
just under £250 million for the 10-year contract. Other bids
came in at £100 million more than Capita’s, including
one from Pricewaterhouse Coopers for £380 million.

But Capita under-estimated the number of people who would use
postal applications and the system crashed. The company thought
that 85 per cent of applications would be made via a call centre
and that just 15 per cent would be paper based.

At an evidence session of the public accounts committee, Vince
Gaskell,  the chief executive of the CRB, revealed that the actual
cost of the project will be £400 million.

A spokesperson for the Home Office said that the value of the
contract had always been £400 million, and that the increase
was due to the systems that needed to be in place to cope with the
volume of paper applications.

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