Cost of the rural payments and services website: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

FOI reference: FOI/17/01417
Date received: 22 June 2017
Date responded: 26 July 2017

Information requested

  • Which company or companies are responsible for developing the Rural Payments and Services website and backend software.

  • How much they claimed the system would cost, how much it has actually so far cost, what the original delivery date was supposed to be, and what the currently scheduled final delivery date is.

  • Which government minister or ministers were responsible for awarding this IT contract.


  1. The company responsible for developing Rural Payments Services website and backend software is CGI UK Ltd.

  2. When the Scottish Government went out for competition for this project the full details of the EC regulations were unknown and therefore the full system requirements were not fully scoped. In 2013, following a framework competition, CGI was appointed our IT delivery partner. The contract value was not fixed and would be determined by the subsequent clarification of the EC regulations and the approach to be taken in Scotland.

The Scottish Government has revised the business case over time to reflect the latest requirements and cost estimates as a result of this. In December 2012 the original business case was approved at a total estimated cost of £102 million.

Since then there have been two main business case revisions. In March 2014, a revised business case was agreed with a total estimated cost of £128 million. This was followed in April 2015, as requirements became clearer, with a final revision to business case bringing this to a total cost of £178 million.

The rationale for the change and aims of the programme remained constant throughout the business case revisions. The full scope and costs of the programme were developed as the EC regulations were confirmed and the Scottish Government's Pillar 1 and Pillar 2 schemes were agreed with the farming industry and the EC.

The Futures Programme was planned to be completed by the end of March 2017 and closed as planned on 31 March 2017, however some parts of the system are outstanding and will be delivered by the ARE directorate. The system delivers the minimum required scope to comply with EC regulations within the £178 million budget.

  1. Ministers do not generally take part personally in awarding contracts or influencing selection of suppliers. The contract was approved by Scottish Government officials within the Agriculture, Food and Rural Communities Directorate and, in accordance with established procedures, the contracts were signed by a duly authorised official within the Scottish Government's Procurement Directorate.

For more on the regulatory background to public procurements, please refer to:

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Phone: 0300 244 4000

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