Laming: no excuse for bad IT

Information mismanagement

The leader of the Climbié Inquiry has called upon the criminal justice system (CJS) to embrace technology

Lord Laming told delegates at the GovNet Modernising Justice Through IT conference on 15 June that failure to embrace change should not be the result of staff feeling anxious based on a fear based on "what will happen to my job".

He said the public, sitting with their laptops and BlackBerries on public transport, will not understand why the CJS cannot manage data.

"This reinforces the contrast of how information is available in people's everyday lives, but what we see in public services are common themes of mismanagement" he said.

He said supermarkets have been using sophisticated computerised systems for 20 years to connect to their central distribution centres, which can be more complicated than many processes in the public sector.

"Information management is the lifeblood of an organisation and if they (CJS) cannot manage data – record and analyse it - it strikes at the heart of the very fabric of our society."

Laming, who led the Victoria Climbié inquiry, the report from which was published in 2003, said despite dealing with doctors, housing departments, social services and other public sector organisations, the little girl was let back home to be abused and eventually murdered.

There was major "data mismanagement," he said. "It's hard to convey to you what happened. Files went missing, faxes fell out of the tray and were swept up by the cleaners and nobody knew who authorised that she could go home."

He said the common mismanagement themes highlighted in the inquiry are still present today.

This article was originally published at Kablenet.

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