iSoft, a leading supplier of clinical software under the NHS’ National Programme for IT, has come under parliamentary scrutiny over its accounting and suspension of a director, who has just been re-elected to the board while suspended.

Paul Farrelly, Labour MP for Newcastle-under-Lyme has tabled questions to the Secretary of State for Health on whether the Department of Health has undertaken reviews “into the financial viability of (a) the contractors and (b) the sub-contractors working on the NHS National Programme for Information Technology."

In another question to the Secretary of State Farrelly asks: “if the Department will ask Accenture to report on the (a) financial standing and (b) accounting treatment of revenues and profits at iSoft."

Speaking to the Guardian Farelly, a former financial journalist, explained the reason for his questions. “I have asked a number of questions of the government regarding the processes it goes through to vet companies involved in crucial projects."

The 26 July Guardian article goes on to report that iSoft has stressed how open its relationship is with both Accenture, the prime local service provider for the North East and East of England, and NPfIT.  “The National Programme has been very thorough in scrutinizing the capability of all its providers."

“For the record, I can categorically confirm that there are no issues with iSoft’s accounting practices or financial viability," an iSoft spokesperson is quoted as saying.

The Guardian also reports that it is in dispute with iSoft over its alleged possession of confidential information and documents, particularly a report prepared by Deloitte as part of due diligence work for Torex during the course of its merger with iSoft. 

Farrelly has also asked the Secretary of State for Health whether the department has enquired as to why in March this year iSoft suspended one of its executive directors, Mark Woodbridge.

On 22 July, iSoft board directors and major shareholders voted to re-elect Woodridge as a director – despite the fact that he had been suspended four months earlier.  There is no suggestion that Woodbridge has done anything wrong, and Tim Whitson, iSoft’s chief executive, is on record as describing the matter as ‘confidential’.

Woodbridge, who joined iSoft as business development director from his position as finance director at Torex, following the £700m merger of iSoft and rival Torex in late 2003.  The only other one of his Torex colleagues to join the iSoft board was Chris Moore, who was appointed as chief executive, but resigned as a director in February.

With Parliament now in recess for the summer none of the Parliamentary questions tabled by Farrelly are due to be answered before 7 September.