The rumours about the emergency alert system were wrong, says the Cabinet Office

If you read this story after 3.23pm on April 24, you’ll know that the Cabinet Office has denied any connection between the new emergency alert system that was tested the day before, and Infosys, a company in which Rishi Sunak’s wife has shares.

That’s the government line and we have to accept it.

This Writer has to admit doubts. It seemed the contract for providing the service was originally awarded to Fujitsu, which partners with Infosys on some projects, despite it being involved in the fiasco over the Horizon system in UK post offices – but the Cabinet Office provided this link to a debate about it in the House of Lords.

In it, Cabinet Office Minister Baroness Neville-Rolfe said, “Fujitsu has had a small role in the development of the UK’s emergency alert system, initially providing a subject matter expert to support early development by DCMS.”

So the counter-claim is that the Department of Culture, Media and Sport developed the emergency alert system, and Fujitsu only provided an advisor.

Lord Arbuthnot of Edrom – also a Conservative – pointed out that awarding any contract to Fujitsu after the Horizon system “caused the sub-postmasters of this country to be shamefully accused of things that they had not done” seemed unreasonable, and the company should have been taken off the government’s procurement list altogether.

He said: “Some went to prison, some took their own lives and all those accused were humiliated in the eyes of their own communities. Fujitsu, which knew perfectly well what it was doing, has said not a single word of apology. This is already costing the Government hundreds of millions, potentially more.”

Baroness Neville-Rolfe responded that “all government contracts are awarded in line with procurement regulations and transparency guidelines, and that goes for the contract on the alerts”.

Considering what happened with Horizon, it doesn’t seem very convincing, does it?

Add to that the fact that Fujitsu has had a working relationship with Infosys since 2003, and in 2009 Infosys teamed up with Australian firm Telstra to create an emergency alert system in Australia, and it seems odd that Fujitsu would not employ any expertise in this field that its partner had.

Then again, the UK’s Tory government is not exactly known for making rational decisions.

That’s the best This Writer can say about it.

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5 thoughts on “The rumours about the emergency alert system were wrong, says the Cabinet Office

  1. Hecuba

    Don’t believe anything the fascist tories claim. They are serial liars who can only see pound signs and profits!!

    Fascist tory peers will say anything when their fascist tory masters demand so all these utterances are ‘methinks they doth protest too much!’

      1. Tim Green

        It goes without saying that the government serves up self-serving tripe, but your post is not significantly better. Your logic of “the government is denying it so it must be true” makes you no better than the government itself as it desperately tries to create a post-truth vacuum of reliable information in the hopes of yet another ill-gotten general election victory.

        You are bending over backwards to believe a tenuous connection between the PM and Fujitsu, but conflate this with a perfectly valid point about the inappropriateness of using Fujitsu. See, there’s a scandal right there without the need to invent a charge of nepotism.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        Your argument falls at the first hurdle because I didn’t say, “the government is denying it so it must be true”. I said I doubted that, having been hired, Fujitsu would reject any expertise already gained by a partner company that had created an emergency alert system for Australia.

Comments are closed.