Ex-Hoon adviser lands top lobbying role at EDS

EDS, the Government’s biggest IT contractor, has hired Geoff Hoon’s former special adviser, Michael Dugher, to be its top UK lobbyist.

Dugher had served as Hoon’s chief aide since September 2002 in the latter’s capacity as defence secretary and for the past year as leader of the Commons. Hoon became Europe Minister in last month’s Cabinet reshuffle.

Dugher reports to EDS executive director of government relations, EMEA, Malcolm George, who said he brought a ‘wealth of experience from his under-standing of the parliamentary process’.

EDS holds lucrative contracts with the Department for Work and Pensions, the MoD, the Courts and the Prison Service. It is also leading a consortium behind a bid for the contract to power eBorders, the Government’s bid to tighten border security.

However, EDS continues to suffer from the fiasco of its botched tax credit payments system, which led to 1.8 million families being overpaid around £2bn. A Treasury Select Committee this week criticised the Government over the £71m compensation deal payable by EDS, because a significant chunk of the amount is dependent on the US firm winning future government contracts.

Prior to his spell with Hoon, Dugher was special adviser to then transport minister John Speller, and head of policy at the Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union (now known as Amicus).

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