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August 19, 2014 1:02 pm
2003: UK prime minister Tony Blair launches the eBorders programme, promising that the database of foreign travellers entering and leaving Britain will help fight the war on terror
November 2004: The Home Office launches Project Semaphore with IBM to pilot the electronic borders system
2008-09: Home Office officials express concern that “key milestones” are being missed by Raytheon
July 1 2010: The new coalition government establishes a major projects review group, to control large contracts. The group meets to review eBorders and recommends termination of the contract
July 5 2010: Theresa May, home secretary, makes the decision to sack Raytheon. Two weeks later, Damian Green, immigration minister, tells parliament that the contract with Raytheon will be terminated, but that the company will continue on the project until a new prime contractor is appointed
August 2011: Robert Delorge, chief executive of Raytheon UK, reveals the company is suing the Home Office for £500m, arguing that the project delays were caused by UK Border Agency mismanagement. A lengthy private arbitration ensues
January 2013: The Home Office begins tendering for a new contract called “Border Systems”, which incorporates some aspects of eBorders but is largely an IT upgrade to current programmes. Meanwhile IBM, Fujitsu and Serco are carrying out some of the original eBorders work
May 2014: The Major Projects Authority warns that it has awarded the Border Systems contract an Amber/Red rating, meaning that “successful delivery of the project is in doubt”
August 2014: An arbitration tribunal rules that the Home Office must pay £224m to Raytheon
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