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Basic errors repeated time and time again are to blame for the British Government's inability to deliver major IT projects on time and within budget. That's the conclusion of a damning report published today by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) which claims taxpayers are footing the bill for the Government's blundering IT mistakes. The committee said failures to pay social security benefits to the most needy people in society, and the computer glitch that plagued the issue of passports last summer (forcing some people to cancel their holidays) were not isolated incidents. "It is imperative that the government acts quickly to improve its record on the management of IT projects," said David Davis, Tory chair of PAC. "Such projects are often delivered late or not at all; they come in over budget or fail to work as intended at the outset," he said. In a statement the Government said it welcomed the publication of the report and that it had set up a new initiative under the watchful eye of the Cabinet Office to review major IT projects and drive up performance. A Cabinet Office spokesperson said: "We are determined to improve the management of major IT projects and learn lessons of past projects. "[We are] developing recommendations that will help ensure that future systems run effectively, deliver value for money and apply best practice learned from previous projects," he said. ®

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