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MoD scraps £120m computer project

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Britain's Ministry of Defence squandered almost £120 million on a computer system that was axed before ever being used.

The Defence Stores Management Solution was designed to modernise the MoD's inventories of equipment.

But the £130 million scheme was ditched last year, three years into the project, after it was realised that the system wouldn't deliver on promised benefits. Hardware valued at £12.2 million was salvaged but the remaining £118 million spent on the project had to be written off at a loss.

The full extent of the management failures behind the collapse of the project emerged in the MoD's annual accounts, published last week. The problems with the project were first reported in IT trade mag Computing last November.

The project, which began four years ago in 1999, was the responsibility of the Defence Logistics Organisation.

A DLO spokesman told the Daily Mail that the project was scrapped because "developments in defence logistics" had rendered the project obsolete.

He said: "The DLO has since moved to address the management system shortcomings identified by the NAO, with much tighter control and scrutiny over proposed and actual expenditure and predicted benefits from new initiatives.

"We regret that we had to write off some taxpayers' money, but the way logistics were developing meant that the way the system was envisaged would not have been the best use of taxpayers' money." ®

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