Brown government rejects calls for independent review of NPfIT

The government under Gordon Brown has rejected a call by an all-party group of MPs for an independent review of the business case for the NHS's National Programme for IT (NPfIT), in the light of progress and experience to date.

The government under Gordon Brown has rejected a call by an all-party group of MPs for an independent review of the business case for the NHS's National Programme for IT [NPfIT], in the light of progress and experience to date.

It has also rejected a call by the Public Accounts Committee for an urgent independent review of the performance of local service providers to the NPfIT, against the obligations of their contracts, which are worth £6.2bn.

The rejections are part of a formal response by the government of a highly critical report on the NPfIT which was published by the committee in March 2007.

Ministers have accepted some parts of the committee's report - but none of the recommendations that called for independent assessments of aspects of the NPfIT. The government had been due to publish its response to the committee's report by 26 May 2007. But it did not do so until 25 July, the day before Parliament broke up for the summer recess.

The committee had called on the government to "commission and publish an independent assessment of the business case for the Programme in the light of progress and experience to date".

In reply, the Brown government said the Department will publish an annual statement of costs and benefits of the programme later this year. But the statement will be its own compilation - not an independent assessment.

The government's reply to the committee said, "The Department does not consider there are grounds for an independent review of the business at this stage."

Government spin - a worrying precedent >>

Public Accounts Committee report on the NHS National Programme for IT >>

Ovum report on the estimated savings due to be achieved by the NHS National Programme for IT >>

NHS trusts ask for costs to cover delays to NPfIT >>

Confidential briefing to Tony Blair on the NHS's National Programme for IT >>

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