§ Mr. Garnier
To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he will make a statement on the current state of the Libra computer project, including the total cost, specifying what sums expended are irrecoverable. 
§ Mr. Wills
Work on the Libra project continues. The first stage of the project, to roll out the infrastructure and provide office automation to all courts, is proceeding on schedule.318W
The second part is the development and implementation of a software application. This is part complete: there is a demonstration version dealing with criminal cases which has been well received by users improving how they operate; and developing the rest of the software is expected to delay full implementation until toward the end of next year, representing an overall delay to this part of the project of 15 to 18 months.
The total value of the Libra contract is estimated to be £319 million over the life of the contract at current prices and workloads. Payments made to date amount to £10 million (ex VAT) of which £7.8 million (ex VAT) are for office automation services delivered to the courts to an acceptable standard, and for which the question of recovery does not arise.