IT services company Capita has won a £70m contract to manage the storage and retrieval of 60 million social security records for the Department for Work and Pensions.
Under the seven-year deal, Capita is contracted to improve access, retrieval and tracking of social security and disability benefit claim forms and associated files.
The three-year project will involve barcoding about 60 million paper records from 44 locations, re-organising them and storing their location on a computer system.
Mike Day, head of support service projects, commercial policy and the procurement division at the Department for Work and Pensions, said, "We are working closely with Capita to ensure a seamless transition takes place for the service and all employees. This project will enhance today's service and make it more cost effective for the department and taxpayers."
Capita is contracted to supply IT services to a number of public sector organisations, including the London Congestion Charge scheme and the Criminal Records Bureau, which checks the background of people wanting to work with children or vulnerable adults.
The £250m Criminal Records Bureau IT systems supplied by Capita were plagued by problems and delays after the bureau came into operation in March 2002. The Public Accounts Committee warned that the service is expected to cost taxpayers £150m more than was originally planned.
Capita was also contracted to supply IT systems for the government’s failed Individual Learning Accounts scheme, which collapsed in 2002 after revelations of widespread fraud. IT systems used by the scheme were found to lack basic security. The government was heavily criticised for its poor contractual arrangements with Capita.