The Racal Electronics-Scicon Ltd consortium has been awarded the Government Data Network contract to implement a packet switched network to be shared by the Home Office, Department of Health & Social Security, Inland Revenue and Customs & Excise. The other two consortia shortlisted for the contract with an estimated value in the hundreds of millions, were Cable & Wireless with ICL and Computer Sciences with British Telecom. The news – a big fillip for both Racal and the new SD-Scicon Plc, was announced to the Commons yesterday by Paymaster General Peter Brooke. The network has been under fire since its inception from the civil liberties lobby, which fears that it could be used to swap personal data on individuals between government departments.
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