The European Parliament has signed a contract with Accenture for the supplier to develop, maintain and support a variety of applications across its operations.

The IT applications agreement is designed to support the European Parliament’s overall information technology strategy and "to drive greater operational efficiencies across the organisation", said the Parliament.

Accenture will oversee the development and integration of new applications across areas such as human resources, finance, logistics and administrative management.

The managed service contract, worth around €12 million (£10.5 million), will last four years and it is the first time Accenture has done work for the organisation.

Sean Shine, managing director of health and public service at the supplier, said: “Both businesses and governments are increasingly seeking application development support to ensure their organisations operate to the highest standards to drive efficiencies."

In other European parliament news, it was recently announced that a new anti-hacking law would be considered by the authority. Justice ministers across Europe want to make the creation of "hacking tools" a criminal offence, but critics have hit back at the plans, saying that they are unworkable as they may affect the production of anti-hacking and penetration testing tools.

In March, the parliament was reportedly the victim of a cyber attack, two days after the European Commission and the European Union's External Action Service also detected a sustained attack on their own systems.