Tories seek details of Capita London congestion contract

Conservative members of the Greater London Authority (GLA) have called on mayor Ken Livingstone to release more information on...

Conservative members of the Greater London Authority (GLA) have called on mayor Ken Livingstone to release more information on Transport for London's congestion charging contract with IT services giant Capita.

Eric Ollerenshaw, deputy leader of the GLA's Conservative group, said, "There is some concern with what's involved in these contracts and Capita's abilities, given its experience in other areas."

Capita is the IT supplier for the Government's Individual Learning Account (ILA) scheme, which was abruptly closed in November 2001 after suspicion of widespread fraud. Questions have since been raised over the security of the ILA computer systems.

Ollerenshaw said, "We want the mayor to give us more information on these contracts and their respective liabilities, such as who will pick up the costs when something goes wrong."

The GLA's Transport for London division announced last week that it had signed a £230m, five-year deal with Capita to help deliver the congestion charging scheme, which is due to be in place by 17 February 2003. Additional contracts have also been signed with other suppliers to cover telecoms services and CCTV cameras.

A Transport for London official said, "The contracts have been carefully drafted to ensure that delivery and performance risks are placed firmly with the service provider."

Capita was selected to deliver and manage the customer services infrastructure after a long and rigorous competitive procurement, he said, adding that the supplier had demonstrated its ability to deliver large-scale, complex projects throughout the bid process.

Transport for London aims to reduce traffic in central London by 10%-15% with the congestion charging scheme. Time spent in traffic delays could be reduced by up to a third.

The scheme is expected to raise between £130m and £150m a year, which will be used to improve transport in the capital.

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