An investigation conducted by LBC has revealed a significant surge in public sector invoices received by Infosys, an Indian tech giant in which Akshata Murty, the wife of Chancellor Rishi Sunak, holds a stake. The findings indicate a near-50% increase in invoices compared to the previous year, marking a record-breaking performance for the company.
According to data compiled by Tussell, Infosys amassed a total of £7 million in public sector invoices in the previous year, up from £4.7 million in 2022. These invoices encompass various government entities, with notable contributions from the Government Property Agency (GPA) and the Care Quality Commission (CQC), among others.
Specifically, Infosys secured contracts ranging from “Information Communication Technology” to “Consultant fees” and “IT Consultancy,” amounting to substantial sums across different levels of government. The surge in spending on Infosys’s services stands out amidst financial strains faced by local councils, underscored by a significant decline in central government grants to local authorities in recent years.
Furthermore, Infosys has not only secured regular contract wins but has also clinched positions on several frameworks, enhancing its prospects for future contracts. While such framework placements do not guarantee work, they provide a competitive advantage, as noted by Tussell analysts.
Recent wins include spots on NHS Shared Business Services’ ‘Intelligence Automation’ Framework and the Financial Conduct Authority’s ‘Digital Services Framework Agreement.’ These achievements, coupled with the government’s publication of contracts worth £44 million to Infosys in 2022, signal a sustained upward trajectory in earnings for the company.
The revelation has sparked concerns among opposition figures, with Labour’s Jonathan Ashworth, Shadow Paymaster General, calling for transparency regarding the awarding of lucrative contracts to Infosys. Questions have been raised about potential conflicts of interest, given Akshata Murty’s stake in the company and her substantial dividends, amounting to £13 million in the last financial year.
In response to inquiries, a Cabinet Office spokesperson emphasized the adherence to fair and transparent processes in contract awards, with ministers maintaining distance from the evaluation and selection of winning bidders. The government asserts that measures are in place to address any conflicts of interest arising from ministerial affiliations.
The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has faced ongoing scrutiny over the government’s ties to Infosys, given Akshata Murty’s association with the company. As public scrutiny intensifies, calls for accountability regarding procurement practices and potential conflicts of interest are expected to persist.