§ Tim Loughton
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will publish the terms of his contract with EDS to supply electronic appointment technology to the NHS; and if he will list the other firms that were invited to tender for the contract to supply electronic appointment technology to the NHS. 
§ Mr. Hutton
[holding answer 21 October 2002]: No contract has been awarded to EDS to supply electronic appointment system technology to the National Health Service.
In line with the information technology procurement strategy proposed for the national programme for IT in the NHS, a selection process is underway using the NHScat managed services framework to identify and select a single "prime service partner" for electronic booking. The successful prime service partner will be contracted to provide and supply software products and planning and implementation services to local health communities jointly with potential systems and services suppliers.270W
All companies on the NHS national framework agreement (NHScat), who were successful in the managed services category, were invited to submit proposals to become the prime service partner for the electronic booking project. The selection process is ongoing. A detailed evaluation was held of the twelve companies listed to provide IT managed services within the NHScat framework. These are BT Health, Computer Science Corporation (CSC), EDS, Elonex, Fujitsu Services, Hewlett Packard, Integris, Specialist Computer Centres (SCC), SX3, Siemens, Unisys, and Viglen. Following that, EDS and BT Health have been invited to put forward detailed proposals as potential IT managed service prime service partners for electronic booking systems. Any award of contract will be subject to successful conclusion of negotiations and approval of a formal business case.
The selection process is being conducted under the supervision of the NHS Purchasing and Supplies Agency.