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Tories “amazed” at speed of Nest contract deal

The Conservative Party has slammed the Personal Accounts Delivery Authority after it announced plans to sign the Nest administration contract before the general election, insisting its review of the scheme would not be constrained “in any way”.

Pada announced this morning that Tata Consultancy Services was the successful bidder for the National Employment Savings Trust scheme administration services and that it intends to sign a contract with TCS later this month, before the expected general election date in May.

Speaking to Money Marketing, Conservative Shadow pensions minister Nigel Waterson (pictured) says he is “amazed” that the contract will been signed so quickly and stressed that this would not inhibit any Tory review of the scheme should they gain power.

He says: “We are amazed that when the implementation date seems to be getting further away this contract is being signed in such a hurry. The original timetable was for this to happen in late June.

“But we wish to make it clear our review of Nest should we win the election will not be constrained in any way by any contract signed by this Government in its dying days.”

The contract is divided into two stages and runs for 10 years, with possible extensions for up to a further five years. The first stage will run to October 2010, allowing TCS to begin the activity required to set up and administer Nest.

Prior to the expiry of the first stage, a decision will be made on whether to proceed with the contract for the remainder of the contract term.

Pada revealed in December that Great-West Retirement Services had withdrawn from the administrator bidding process leaving just Tata in the running. The Liberal Democrats claimed Tata had Pada “over a barrel”.

Logica UK withdrew from the competitive dialogue process for the contract in November.

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Comments

There are 12 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. The contract will presumably contain large penalty clauses preventing the next (presumably Conservative) government from pulling NEST hence Waterson’s concerns. Maybe TCS threatened to pull out if a contract was not offered before the GE?

    Oh to be a fly on the wall…

  2. More taxpayers’ money down the drain then, signed away but someone who’ll not carry any financial liability for wasting our cash.

  3. Looks like PADA feathering their own NEST

  4. If the conservatives do win the election and subsequently cancel the contract why on earth should Tata get any compensation? They are aware of the circumstances and if they choose to take the risk after the conservatives have made it perfectly clear it is subject to review then the risk is theirs.
    The conservatives should make it clear that they will not offer any compensation whatever happens. They have already made it clear their final decision will not be influenced by the parties hasty signing of a contract now; they need to go that one stage further to scotch this idiocy.

  5. Andrew Pritchard 2nd March 2010 at 2:16 pm

    One minute the Labour politicians are complaining about controlling expenditure then they are deliberately committing to huge costs just to ‘spike the guns’ of the next parliament.

    Perhaps if MP’s could be retrospectively punished for their errors and profligacy, then they may be more considerate towards taxpayer’s money. No time bar on MP’s decisions!

  6. Its all part of Bully Browns scorched earth policy to leave the incoming administration with a poisoned chalice. When the spending cuts & higher taxes come to sort out his mess he will blame it all on the Tories.

  7. Another large contract signed by a quango that has no accountability just the power to spend.
    The speed must sound warning bells alone it was due this June.
    One must wonder if all is above board as there is only this one “bidder” left.

  8. Why don’t we claim the back tax from Lord Ashcroft, that will be more than enought to cover the cost of the reckless quango

  9. Why April if it was originally due to be June?

  10. Wow, here I am wishing Capita would step up and run the administration. Never thought I’d say that! Then again i never thought we’d see an Indian car manufacturer running admin for a national pensions institution.

  11. Agree with you Ian (2;57).
    Reminds me that it is only about 2/3 years since Gordon (Big Brain) Brown was arrogantly boasting in the House of Commons about having presided over, I think it was, 60 quarters of uninterrupted growth in the UK economy. He claimed ALL the credit, conveniently omitting that the conditions for that growth had been laid down by the previous administration who had left office with about 15 quarters growth already ‘in the bag’! In fact ‘Big Brain’ was so impressed with the Tory legacy that he kept rigidly to their spending plans, while quietly devising increases in indirect taxes. One of these ‘too clever by half’ schemes was the alteration to the taxation of Pension Funds, raising £5/6 billion pa. that would ‘not be noticed for the next 10 or 20 years’ as far as many commentators were concerned. If Gordon ‘BB’ Brown is so damned clever then what was he thinking of? I believed then that he was an unreconstructed socialist, from the Scottish wing of the Labour movement, and certainly only ‘New’ Labour because he would do anything to get elected. Presumably therefore, if he could see that this change would alter the whole basis on which Government was able to pay decidedly mediocre State Pensions, because so many people belonged to internationally admired privately funded schemes, he had the ulterior motive of smashing those schemes to make more people dependent on the State in old age. With the UK’s changing demographics, which is something that can be seen 50, 60, 70 years in advance, this was utter madness and his subsequent failure to get to grips with the problem, other than to set in motion a gradual raising of the age at which a State pension can be claimed, only adds to the calamity. BUT Gordon only wants what he thinks is good for Gordon Brown! He is so self-centered that he thinks he is the only one who is right, about everything, and he therefore looks after himself first, second and third, the Labour party fourth and the countries interests trailing a long way behind, pretty much detached, in fifth place.

    Once we ‘look again’ at Labour we see the old vindictive ‘class struggle’ is still etched in the collective psyche which allows for a very nasty vindictiveness, which has often bubbled around the surface, coupled with the childish ‘if I can’t have it then I’ll make sure you can’t have it either’ attitude exemplified by Gordon Brown.

    Has there ever been a Labour administration that left office with the economy in even reasonable shape? I remember, with special fondness Harold Wilsons’ speech watched live when at the Midland Bank. We all laughed with incredulity as he asserted that there would be no effect on ‘the pound in your pocket’. Labour PM’s certainly do not seem to have changed their spots!

  12. Michael Fallas 3rd March 2010 at 3:42 pm

    There is something very fishy here.

    What sensible organisation would even think of signing a 10 year contract when we could well have a new Government within a matter of weeks?

    It does make is seem as though they are trying to stitch up any future Government and the tax payer or someone has a lot to gain out of this contract being signed.

    Either way I hope any future Government pledges to look into the matter urgently after the election and take any necessary action.

    Why is siging this now in the tax payers interest?

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