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Nine years after the project began, the government is still failing to put a completion date on the roll out of the IT system for magistrates' courts.

A spokesperson for HM Courts Service told GC News that, while the infrastructure has been in place since 2003, the case management system has been implemented at a relatively small number of courts.

It is currently in 16 of approximately 370 magistrates' courts in England and Wales. The spokesperson said it will be implemented in another seven courts during February, following which a review of the further roll out will take place.

Libra was launched in 1988 to create a national standard IT system for magistrates' courts. It holds personal information on defendants, providing for searches against surname whenever a new case is entered on the system.

In January, Parliament's Public Accounts Committee observed that the slow roll out of Libra is undermining efforts to improve the collection of fines imposed by magistrates.

The Courts Service spokesperson said no figure is currently available for the total cost of the project.

This article was originally published at Kablenet.

Kablenet's GC weekly is a free email newsletter covering the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. To register click here.

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