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Brown quizzed on gov IT failures

'We've got a long way to go...'

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Prime Minister Gordon Brown admitted this morning that the government has "a long way to go" to a coherent IT strategy.

Brown was giving evidence to the Liaison Committee, which is made up of the chairmen of all other Parliamentary committees.

Andrew Miller, chairman of Parliament IT body Pitcom, said the government had said it would publish an IT strategy and asked what progress had been made.

Brown said: "We've got a long way to go,".

Brown said there was still work to be done on organising data and on security issues. He said these were issues that many countries were facing.

Asked by MP Edward Leigh about systemic failures at the HMRC, which led to the loss of two CDs containing the entire child benefit database, Brown said there was a difference between rules not being followed and failure of procedures and systems. He also said no one had lost any money.

News emerged yesterday of yet another government IT snafu. The system for collecting victim surcharges from convicted prisoners has failed and is only recognising people who have been fined. Only £1.1m of a target of £16m has so far been collected because offenders imprisoned or given community service sentences have not been included.

Video of the committee meeting is available from here.

The Beeb has more on victim surcharges here. ®

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