The Government’s £600m contract with Nest administrator Tata Consultancy Services is still under consultation despite confirmation that the national scheme will proceed as planned.
Under the previous Labour Government, a protracted bidding process saw three of the original four bidders withdraw, leaving TCS as the sole contender for the contract.
Pensions minister Steve Webb, who was Liberal Democrat Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary at the time, said the IT consultancy and outsourcing firm had Pada “over a barrel” when the agreement was reached.
Webb will sign the second part of the contract following completion of the first stage this month, which involved installation and testing of computer systems in preparation for auto-enrolment going live next year.
A Nest spokeswoman says an announcement on the future of the 10-year deal will be made in November. She says: “The Government and the trustees will be confirming whether or not the contact should continue. There is a break clause.”
A Department for Work and Pensions spokeswoman refuses to confirm whether the terms of the contract would be rev-iewed as part of the department’s cost-cutting drive.
Between three and six million people are expected to join Nest following confirmation last week that it would not be scrapped under the Government’s comprehensive spending review.