Concern over courts' IT update after rift

The Lord Chancellor's Department (LCD) is insisting that US company EDS' contract to install IT case management systems in all civil and Crown courts is safe, despite the recent bust-up over the tender to supply the £170m Libra system in magistrates' courts.

Last week it emerged that EDS had complained to the LCD over the impending award of the Libra contract to rival company ICL. In a letter, leaked to magazine Computer Weekly, EDS claimed it had been forced to withdraw its bid when the LCD told it, only 27 days before the deadline, that the core of its proposal was unacceptable.

Reports of friction between the two sides will lead to concern over the state of EDS's contract to install computers in the civil and Crown courts.

In June, The Lawyer revealed that the IT systems needed to underpin Lord Woolf's reforms would not be ready by their 1 April deadline.

But a spokesman for the LCD said: “There is no overlap between the two contracts.”

A spokeswoman for EDS said: “It is incorrect to say that we have lodged a formal complaint. Our relationship with the LCD remains very good.”

Last week, the Law Society voiced concern over the IT timetable for the Woolf reforms, as did Beachcroft Stanleys senior partner Lord Hunt.