Oral Update on the Report of the Mayor (Supplementary) [2]

Session date: 
March 16, 2016
Question By: 
Joanne McCartney
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Joanne McCartney AM:  Mr Mayor, in your update you talked about Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) finances and spending money on gangs work.


Boris Johnson MP (Mayor of London):  Yes.


Joanne McCartney AM:  Given that the MPS’s finances are under pressure, are you aware of how much money has been lost with the - as we understand - failure of one of your first outsourcing projects, the CommandPoint command-and-control system?  We understand from the exclusive story in the Evening Standard today that your Deputy Mayor has cancelled or terminated that contract and is probably going to be suing the provider, Northrop Grumman.  I understand that the contract is worth £65 million.  Are you aware of that and how much money has been lost?


Answer for Oral Update on the Report of the Mayor (Supplementary) [2]

Answer for Oral Update on the Report of the Mayor (Supplementary) [2]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Boris Johnson MP (Mayor of London):  Yes.  As you rightly say, Joanne, there is or has been a contract with Northrop Grumman and, I believe, Lockheed Martin to provide such services.  They have not lived up to expectations, to put it mildly.  We are confident that we will be able to recover virtually all of the investment so far.


Joanne McCartney AM:  What does that mean for a 30-year-old command-and-control system that everyone would admit is creaking under the pressure?  Is it fair to say that you are leaving the new Mayor with a blank sheet of paper and no progress made?


Boris Johnson MP (Mayor of London):  No.  The upgrades will proceed.  Obviously, the difficulty is that these particular contractors have not done the job in the way that we wanted.  It is rather like, if you remember, the Bombardier contracts for the subsurface signalling.  There comes a moment when you have to decide whether to keep crossing your fingers and hoping that they are going to come up to snuff or whether you cut your losses.  We are confident that we will be able to minimise those losses and get on with modernising the command-and-control networks.


Joanne McCartney AM:  Can you give us an estimate as to how much you expect to lose?


Boris Johnson MP (Mayor of London):  No, I cannot give you that at the moment, but I have been briefed that the vast majority of the outlay will be recovered.


Joanne McCartney AM:  Do you think that this has any bearing on other outsourcing projects that your office is thinking of making?


Boris Johnson MP (Mayor of London):  What it shows is that you can save huge sums of money by outsourcing and it very often is the right thing to do, but in a fiercely competitive world what happens is that often, I am afraid, contractors do underbid or do overestimate their capacities and you get this kind of result.  We will be able to proceed, nonetheless, with the modernisation of command and control.