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Home Office splashed £35m trying to escape e-Borders contract

Costs set to balloon further as Raytheon 'determined to pursue' appeal

Exclusive The Home Office has so far splashed £34.6m in legal costs to extract itself from the disastrous £750m e-Borders contract run by Raytheon, The Register can reveal.

In 2007, the Home Office contracted the defence company to design its e-Borders technology system to provide secure border control.

However, by 2010 it had terminated the contract due to significant delays and missed targets.

Last month the Home Office won its appeal against a previous decision to award Raytheon £224m, after the company claimed the termination was unlawful and thus entitled it to recover substantial damages.

According to a Freedom of Information response handed to El Reg, between April 2010 and January 2015 the Home Office incurred a total cost of £34.6m preparing and presenting its case.

This includes the costs of legal work, expert witnesses, civil servants and contractors, said the response.

In August 2014 a confidential arbitration process held that the Home Office's termination of the contract was unlawful and awarded Raytheon £50m in damages for ending the contract, £126m for its IT systems, £10m to settle complaints over contract changes and £38m in interest payments.

This ruling was challenged by the department in September last year.

Last month, High Court judge Mr Justice Akenhead found the initial ruling in favour of Raytheon had been undermined by “serious irregularities”.

He ordered Raytheon to pay the Home Office £146,000 of the department’s £364,978 legal costs for the appeal.

Raytheon has said it intends to appeal the decision.

A Raytheon spokesperson said: "RSL (Raytheon) is determined to pursue an appeal of this decision, to enforce the Tribunal’s Award and to recover the sums due to RSL for wrongful termination of the e-Borders contract." ®

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