Feeds

Government cocks up another computer project

£300m Ministry of Defence mess

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

The government has added to its litany of computer system cock-ups with a £300 million system at the Ministry of Defence which has had to be overhauled.

The system is supposed to handle to pay, pension and HR services for all staff in the armed forces and was contracted out to EDS on a 12-year contract by the then newly formed Armed Forces Personnel Administration Agency.

However, the grand plan to merge the three different systems for the army, navy and air force has proved too tricky and EDS has been asked to "reconstruct" its contract.

As ever, it is one-man public sector IT watchdog Tony Collins from Computer Weekly that has dragged comments out the government. The whole scheme "was not as successful" as it could have been, said deputy chief of defence staff, Sir Malcolm Pledger. Government shorthand for "a complete disaster".

"There was particular naivety on the transfer of risk," Malcolm told the magazine. "The MoD wanted improved services within the original contract price but EDS needed further funding to deliver the improved information systems. The result is contractual stalemate."

The situation is now sorted out but apparently at one point it looked as though all wages were going to be delayed.

What makes the IT mess all the more ridiculous is that the pay system for the Royal Navy was itself a complete failure - it came in at 217 per cent over budget and was abandoned after just one year at a cost of £8.7 million.

This cock-up is just the latest in an exhausting list of government IT-project disasters. And it looks as though EDS has now overtaken Siemens in the contractor stakes.

Let's try to recall them all (apologies if we omit any). Er, eight of the 11 Home Office IT projects in recent years are either "severely delayed or severely over budget". Then there was the Passport Agency (Siemens), Immigration (Siemens), tax self-assessment (EDS), the Post Office (ICL), National Insurance (Andersen) and the Prison Service.

It'll all be alright though. Because the government has promised us that all government services will be online by 2005. ®

A (hopefully) complete list of government IT cock-ups

Home Office computer system slammed by report
Govt scraps £80m computer system
Govt to run all IT projects through Treasury watchdog
Yet another government IT cock-up
Inland Revenue's pathetic Net effort gets worse
Inland Revenue joins Internet hall of shame
Gov't tries to make IT projects run on time
IT failures not all our fault, says Blair govt
MOD blows £30m on junk projects
Computer delays student loan payouts

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft exits climate denier lobby group
ALEC will have to do without Redmond, it seems
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
True fact: 1 in 4 Brits are now TERRORISTS
YouGov poll reveals terrible truth about the enemy within
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?