Who will supply MPs' PCs?

A review of MPs' pay and allowances has recommended that their computers and software be provided centrally.

A review of MPs' pay and allowances has recommended that their computers and software be provided centrally.

Parliamentary reporter

This would open up the prospect of suppliers bidding for prestige House of Commons contracts worth more than £2m a year.

MPs currently buy their own computers and associated equipment and link them to the parliamentary data and video network.

But last week's recommendation by the review body on senior salaries that "standardised IT equipment and software, with appropriate communication links, should be centrally supplied and maintained" has brought the prospect of the Westminster authorities taking control of MPs' computers much closer.

While the initial contract would be worth several million pounds, the review body estimated that the average cost when the system is up and running would be £3,000 per MP per year.

With 659 MPs, there would be a contract worth more than £2m available annually.

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