NAO slams KBR record

Kellogg Brown & Root, the firm hired to project manage the health service's £2.3bn national IT programme, has been criticised by...

Kellogg Brown & Root, the firm hired to project manage the health service's £2.3bn national IT programme, has been criticised by the National Audit Office for cost over-runs on a major government project.

KBR is the majority shareholder of Devonport Royal Dockyard, where the costs of a construction project soared from an estimated £576m to £933m, with the final cost still uncertain, according to the NAO. It blamed the Ministry of Defence, KBR and the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate, for the price hike.

John Bourn, head of the NAO, said, "Despite the stated allocation of risk on the contract, the MoD agreed to fund most of the cost increases on this project, thereby accepting back risks it had originally transferred."

KBR is best known as an oil industry construction and engineering company. Its NHS role will be to provide project planning, risk analysis and risk management. A KBR spokesman said it had recruited personnel with IT and health industry experience for the contract.

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