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UK database of children delayed

Till we find those pesky discs...

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The UK's proposed child database has been delayed after "feedback from stakeholders" and not obviously in response to the government's loss of the UK's child benefit database on two CDs.

ContactPoint will contain details on every child in the UK including name, address, gender and a unique identifying number. The database will contain information on every organisation involved with the child.

The database will be delayed for five months while a security review is carried out by Deloitte. Deloitte is also carrying out a more general review of IT security at the department for children, schools and familes.

A statement from Kevin Brennan, under-secretary for children, young people and families, said:

Over the last few months we have been considering the substantial stakeholder feedback we have received and looked at the implications that the resulting proposed changes could have on the system. It is clear from the considerable work we have done so far that we will need more time than we originally planned to address the changes to ContactPoint which potential system users suggested.

The change to the timetable will mean that deployment of ContactPoint to the ‘Early Adopters’ local authorities and national partners will be in September or October 2008. It will be deployed to all other local authorities and national partners in 2009, between January and May.

Brennan announced funding of £40m for local and national partners to implement the database and integrate it with existing case management software. Funding runs until March 2009.

Following the loss of the child benefit CDs, prime minister Gordon Brown said all government departments would review their security procedures. ®

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